October 23, 2014 

OCTOBER 23, 2014


Friday October 24

            Curriculum Day – NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, October 28

            Special Town Meeting – 7:00 pm

Tuesday, October 28-Friday, October 31

            Scholastic Book Fair

Wednesday and Thursday, October 29 and 30

            Parent/Teacher Conferences -1:05 Dismissal

Friday, October 31

            Book Character Day

            All-School Assembly - 2:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Wednesday, November 4 and 5

            Parent/Teacher Conferences -1:05 Dismissal



LES really IS more!

The calendar has been chock-a-block full of happenings here are LES.  Just reviewing all that has happened in the last twenty-four hours leaves me a bit breathless.

Monday morning, bright and early, we had a guest from NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). She spent the day observing our preschool and kindergarten as part of the accreditation process that happens once every five years. The preschool and kindergarten staff spent about a year compiling the extensive portfolios that are part of the accreditation. Every element of the program is thoroughly inspected, from the curriculum to safety coverings on electrical sockets! Although we haven’t gotten the final report, all indications are that we passed with flying colors. Hats off to Amanda King and Ruth Love Barer and all of the Early Education staff for all of their hard work!

Monday night was the fourth graders chance to shine, as they gathered with other fourth graders from the region for the graduation from the SAFE program. This very important program has taught them the basics of fire safety, and as I watched them responding to questions during the presentation, it was clear that they have learned a tremendous amount. It was terrific to see the enthusiastic appreciation that they showed for Chief Moruzzi and members of his department for their efforts.

On Tuesday, the day started with the arrival of two visitors from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. They were here to review our Special Education practices, and spoke with teachers, paraprofessionals, and a parent, after an early morning meeting and tour of the school with me. From the moment they arrived, they were able to see and hear about what makes LES tick. As they left, they remarked on what a wonderful place this school is. “You have landed in a good place,” said one of the guests to me. I could not agree more!

While I was in the midst of giving the DESE tour, our fifth graders headed off to Brushy Mountain for a day of exploration, arriving back a bit weary, but very pleased with the day. Aren’t we lucky to have a mountain trail at our back door?!

And, while I’m recounting recent events, I need to harken back a few days more to Harvest Festival and the lasagna dinner. Since I had never attended Harvest Festival, I was curious to see what the day would bring. I saw a side of LES students that I don’t get to see during the school day, as they marketed their homemade food and crafts, and ran different games. The kindergartners seemed to be managing the cash box quite proficiently, and the dinner service from the sixth graders was splendid. But the thing that struck me most about the day was the sense of community and the joy of being together.

That joy and fun is sure to continue as we celebrate Book Character Day on October 31
st.  I’ve heard that Harry Potter will be showing up, but I can’t wait to see who these next ‘visitors’ will be!

                                                -Margot Lacey


The Friday Post is coming home on Thursday this week, since students have a day off tomorrow. All of the teachers from the Union 28 schools (LES, Shutesbury, Erving, and Swift River) will participate in Curriculum Day workshops at the Leverett School.  UMASS Professor of Education Rebecca Woodland will give a presentation on personal learning communities.



Parent/Teacher conferences will begin next week on Wednesday, October 29 and Thursday, October 30 and continue the following week on Tuesday, November 4 and Wednesday, November 5.  Students will go home at 1:05 on each of those days in order for teachers to have time to meet with the parents of individual children to discuss their academic progress.  If you do not already have an appointment for a conference, please contact your child’s teacher.  There will not be any childcare at school on these afternoons.  If your child is registered in the Afterschool Program, they may go to Afterschool while parents go to conferences (even if they are not enrolled for that day of the week).  Please check with Mike DeRosa if you would like your child to stay for Afterschool on any of the conference dates.



The search for the new Superintendent is beginning. As a first step, the search committee will need input from the school community regarding the qualities and skills of our next school leader. A survey has been created to gather that information. Please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QSF762S    to view the survey which will take approximately five minutes to conclude. The deadline for the survey is October 25, 2014.

Thank you in advance of your efforts to assist in this process.



Seeds!  Any leftover garden seeds you may have, particularly beans, regardless of age, would be useful.  Please send them in.  Thank you. 


The 6th grade students and parents would like to thank the entire community for supporting our delicious Lasagna Dinner at the "6 Cooks in the Kitchen" Cafe on 10/18/14! We are still tallying the results but we know that no matter the monetary rewards, it was a smashing success. We appreciate your ticket purchases, donations and glowing remarks about the evening. For those who couldn't stay for the raffle, we'd like to announce the winning number is . . . 754450.  Please contact Lydia Peterson ([email protected]) to claim your 50% of the till ($35!). 


Leverett Community Interview of the Week

Alicia Knapp

Grade 4

What are you looking forward to this year at Leverett School? 

I am looking forward to the fourth grade trip to Chinatown and learning new math.

What do you like doing in your free time? 

I like to play video games, do homework and spend time with my family.

PTO Announcements

•THANK YOU to all those who participated in our Genevieve’s fundraiser! Totals will be in next week 's Post. Grades 4 and Kindergarten were tied for the most envelopes returned on Monday (all envelopes with or without sales were counted). These two grades each had 10 envelopes returned. Have a fun time with extra recess! Thanks to Principal Lacey for sponsoring that reward.

• A Dean’s Beans order form is attached to this week’s Post.  Orders are due on November 3rd.

Enjoy your Friday off!


Leverett Harvest Festival

Thanks to everyone who participated in Harvest Festival this year. Every comment received so far has had the word “fun” in it.  Next year, we just need to get the rest of you - and the rest of town - to come enjoy the day, too.

Any comments, suggestions or good ideas for next year’s 35th Harvest Festival are always welcome.  [email protected]  



Ph: 548-9220

[email protected]

•Friends of the Leverett Library Annual Meeting, Thursday, October 30, 6:30pm.      Please join the Friends for a visit from local author Suzanne Strempek Shea.    Shea will talk about her latest book, This is Paradise, true story of Mags Riordan, founder of the Billy Riordan Memorial Clinic in the African nation of Malawi. Open to all. Copies of the book are available for check out at the library.

•STEAM program MAGNETS! Thursday, November 6, 3:15-4:15pm.   Kids ages 3-6. Using different types of magnets, we will discover what they can do and how they can be useful, and fun.

Please call or stop in to register.

 •Local author Cammie McGovern Thursday,  November 13, 7pm  will be at the library to talk about her work. McGovern is the author of three adult novels, The Art of Seeing, Eye Contact, and Neighborhood Watch, and most recently the acclaimed YA novel Say What You Will

• Put it on your calendar now, on Sunday, November 16th at 1:30:  free family movie, DisneyNature’s Bears on the big screen.




(Items listed here are not school sponsored)


The Enchanted Forest: A Non-scary Halloween Event

"Sounds of the Night" Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25,

5:00-8:00pm.  Come to the Hitchcock Center 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 meet nocturnal critters whose sounds fill the night. Fun for all ages!    Adult:  Members $10 / Non-members $12

            Children:  Members $5 / Non-members $8

            Under 3 years free

Registration required, please call to sign up for a walk time, space is limited. Call: 256-6006


Come and create your unique mask for Halloween!

Whether you want to be silly or spooky, this fun workshop is an exciting way to make your imagination come to life. Multi-Arts is offering a children's Make Your Own Mask workshop just perfect for Halloween! Multi-Arts, a local arts organization that has been empowering and inspiring young artists for over 14 years, is hosting a free mask-making workshop, led by professional illustrator Titus Neijens.   Multi-Arts' innovative programming encourages creativity and instills a lifelong love of the arts with children. Multi-Arts' camps and workshops help children discover they can use their imaginations to invent and build designs that instills lasting pride and happiness. 

Wednesday, October 29, from 4-6 pm

at All Things Local Coop, Downtown Amherst

Free of charge but donations are very much appreciated

All children welcome.


BOARD or SKI WACHUSETT this winter and get a nice discount on a season’s pass. Wachusett is only 45 min East on rt 2 and has a great variety of trails and park, and does a good job grooming. Its also open a long season, and pretty consistently 7 days + 7 afternoon/evenings per week as long as its cold enough. My favorite pass is the Bronze pass – 7 afternoon/evenings + non-holiday/non weekend days.  It costs $369, but even less, $249  if you buy through “Group Sales/GPS Club” at Wachusett.com. Type in “Shutesbury Board And Ski” and my name as Coordinator,“Susan Reyes,” on your form, and we’ll all get the discount as long as at least 4 people including my family buy through this "GPS club" before Nov 19. Call or email with questions: 413-259-1658, [email protected]

Women’s Yoga Circle with Nancy Paglia.  Six monthly circles beginning Sunday, October 16th, 10am-1pm, at the Montague Retreat Center, Ripley Road, Montague.  In this serene and tranquil setting, we will create a sacred space for each of us.  Through yoga, meditation, journaling, music and sharing we will experience profound states of relaxation and rejuvenation.  The cost is $50/session or $75 drop-in rate.  Special Bonus:  Receive $30 off a one-hour massage for yourself or to give as a gift.  For more information and registration, please call 413-687-2125.  Nancy Paglia, M.Ed., is a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist with over twenty years in private practice and at Canyon Ranch Spa and Amherst Leisure Services.

Screening of the Oscar nominated film, The Last Campaign of Govenor Booth Gardner.  Saturday, November 15th, 1 pm, at the Sunderland Public Library, 20 School Street, Sunderland.  Synopsis of the film:  In 1994 a year after serving two terms as one of the most popular governors in modern Washington State history, Booth Gardner was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  In 2008, as his health continued to deteriorate, he returned to the political spotlight as the driving force behind a ballot initiative that would legalize one’s choice to die.  The film chronicles his controversial crusade, looking at both sides of this hotly debated issue.  The film runs 40 minutes and will be followed by a discussion.  For questions, and to RSVP, please contact Marie Manis, 617-379-0033, [email protected].  This event is free and open to the public.

 If you would like to put a notice in the Community Bulletin Board section of the Friday Post, please submit notices to be published no later than Thursday at noon.  The easiest way to do that is by e-mail to [email protected]. Flyers for non-school sponsored events can be attached to the Post.  They must contain a disclaimer “This is not a school-sponsored event” and a sufficient number of copies (125) should be provided to the office by the end of the school day on Thursday.



ROBERT A. MAHLER                        

SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS                                                                   
ERVING, MA 01344                                                                                        
413 423-3337
FAX 413 423-3236

October 31, 2014

Dear Leverett Elementary School Parent or Guardian:

We are pleased to enclose an overview of our school’s “report card”. Report cards answer important questions about a school's overall performance and contain specific information about student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, how a school is performing relative to other schools in the district and the state, and the progress made toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students.

In this report you will find the following important information about our school:

Student enrollment and teacher quality: This section of the report card provides information about the students and teachers in our school as compared to the district and the state. If your child attends a school that receives federal Title I funds, you also have the right to request the following information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers:

  • Whether your child’s teacher is licensed in the grade levels and subject areas they teach
  • Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver
  • The college degree and major of your child’s teacher
  • Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications

Student assessment on MCAS and other tests: This section of the report shows how our students are performing on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests as compared to the district and the state.

School and district accountability information: This section of the report contains three important pieces of information:

  • Accountability and Assistance Levels: Schools and districts are placed into one of five accountability and assistance levels (1-5), with the highest performing in Level 1 and lowest performing in Level 5. Our school has been placed into Level 2 because we did not meet the target of reducing proficiency gaps among all students tested at the Leverett Elementary School.
  • School Percentiles: A school percentile between 1 and 99 is reported for most schools. This number shows the overall performance of our school relative to other schools that serve the same or similar grades. Our school percentile is 62. This means that our school is performing higher than 62 percent of the elementary schools in the state.
  • Progress and Performance Index (PPI): The PPI is a number that indicates our school’s progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, or, in other words, helping all students reach proficiency and be prepared for success after high school. Massachusetts has set a goal of reducing proficiency gaps by half between the years 2011 and 2017. For a group of students to be considered to be making sufficient progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, its cumulative PPI must be 75 or higher.

    We encourage you to become involved in helping us improve our school. Some of the ways you can become involved are:

  • Encouraging your child’s learning at home
  • Attending parent-teacher meetings and other special meetings
  • Serving as a volunteer in our school or district
  • Encouraging other parents to become involved

For more information about our school’s report card or to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers, please feel free to contact either myself or Margot Lacey, the building principal.


Robert A. Mahler
Superintendent of Schools 

overview 1
overview 2
book fair
dean's beans

jennifer rosner



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