Monday, November 2, 2020

News to Use - November 2, 2020

There will be no school (in-person or remote) for students on Tuesday, November 3rd as all teachers will be taking part in a Professional Development Day. You may recall this was originally scheduled for Friday, October 6th but was moved to November 3rd to keep students out of the school buildings during election day. Elementary teachers will be studying technology tools, including DreamBox, and working to integrate them further into our hybrid learning model. We will also be discussing how to continue to strengthen our hybrid learning model and looking at our fall assessment information, planning targeted instructional supports for students. It looks to be a very busy day!

Upcoming Important Dates:
No School: Professional Development Day                     Tuesday, November 3
No School: Veterans' Day                                                                 Wednesday, November 11
No School: Thanksgiving Recess                                                    Thurs & Fri, November 26 & 27
School Pictures, Cohort A & remote students                              Tuesday, December 1
School Pictures, Cohort B                                                                Thursday, December 3

Parent Coffee
Parents and guardians are welcome to join Jenn Clifford and Mary Beth Banios for a virtual coffee hour again on Tuesday, November 17 at 7pm. We will be able to have a casual conversation during this virtual coffee hour. The Zoom link will be emailed directly to families on November 16.

Parenting with Less Stress and More Success
Virtual Workshop opportunity for HW parents with Robert Evans, Ed.D. 
November 10, 2020 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or
November 12, 2020 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
There is no harder job than being a parent. Nothing else touches so much of a person so deeply—or unpredictably—and there is no training for it. This was true pre-COVID, as the pace of life accelerated, media influences intensified, and the future grew less predictable. So it’s no wonder parents now find it harder to be confident, how to reduce their children's stress—and their own. Dr. Evans will outline these dilemmas and offer concrete suggestions for successful coping.

Rob Evans is a psychologist, a former high school and pre-school teacher, and a former child and family therapist. He has worked with schools and parents throughout the country, including Hamilton-Wenham. His presentations are known for their lively wit and plain talk. He is the author of many articles and three books, including Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with The Crisis in Childrearing.




Mitigation Strategies: How well we follow these strategies in the community will influence our ability to keep our schools open for in-person learning. Please do your part to keep everyone healthy, and to minimize the risk of spreading infection to others. These measures include:

  • Stay home when you're sick.
  • Wear a properly fitting face covering over your nose and mouth - which fits securely without gaps.
  • Practice frequent hand hygiene -lather hands with soap and water, friction for 20 seconds on all surfaces of the hands before rinsing, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer dime-sized application - friction to all surfaces of the hands until it is fully absorbed.
  • Maintain DISTANCE - 6 feet of distance from those not of your household. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.


All Massachusetts residents are required to comply with the COVID-19 travel order. On this website you can see a map for which states are designated as lower risk states. If you are traveling to a non-lower risk state, you need to follow the travel order which requires that you quarantine for 14 days upon return to MA or seek a COVID-19 PCR test no earlier than 72 hrs prior to your return to MA. Documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test needs to be submitted to your school nurse prior to your child(ren)'s return to in-person learning. If your child(ren) are 10 years old or younger, they are not required to receive a COVID-19 test, but you will need to share documentation of your adult household members' negative tests to your school nurse prior to their return to in-person learning.


If your child is experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms please keep your child home from school, contact their health care provider, and seek testing if advised. See our return to school guidelines for more info. We ask you to seek a COVID-19 PCR test which is considered the gold standard for testing. Rapid antigen tests, if received, should be followed by a confirmatory PCR. MA has many free Stop the Spread testing locations where PCR tests are administered, including locations in Salem which do not require an appointment and are open 6 days a week. In our experience, the Salem testing site often has a 24-hour turnaround to receive results.


Please remember to log-in to our health portal prior to sending your child(ren) to school on their in-person learning days. You can also use the portal to send secure messages, upload physical exams, and upload proof of vaccination.


All MA students are now required to be vaccinated against influenza by December 31st, 2020. This is critical during the pandemic as it can reduce the impact of COVID- 19. Vaccination for influenza will also aid in the protection of vulnerable populations and decrease the burden on the healthcare system. Both the Flumist and the flu shot are available this year. Please provide documentation of your child(ren)'s flu vaccine to your school nurse.


Dress for all weather: We will be spending time outside as much as possible, weather permitting, and are keeping windows open in the building. Children should dress in layers and wear outerwear appropriate to the weather. Spare clothes are useful in elementary school if you think your child might get muddy or wet.

Hydration: Make sure your children bring a reusable water bottle to school. Hydration can help prevent headaches, dry throats, dry skin, and chapped lips. Cloth face coverings: Please keep a spare face covering your child(ren)'s backpack. Face coverings need to fit securely over the nose and mouth. Gaitors, bandanas, and masks with valves are not acceptable for school.


Physical exams are required for school upon entry to kindergarten, upon transfer to the district, and in students' 4th, 7th, and 10th grade years. If your child is in one of these grades, or did not submit a physical last year when in one of these grades, please submit a current physical to your school nurse.

For additional information please visit our HW nurses' website

FoC “News To Use”: Week of November 2nd
Hello Friends,
We hope you all enjoyed the snowy surprise on Friday and had a uniquely spooky Halloween!
This week’s NTU comes with a lot of exciting news, so please read carefully, and as always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. 
Directory: The Friends of Buker, Friends of Cutler, and Friends of Winthrop are happy to announce that we finally found a team to take over the HWRSD Elementary School Directory for the 2020-2021 school year!  In order to be included in this year’s directory, you must complete the following form:
Please note that the deadline is Monday, November 9, 2020 
Inclusion in this district-wide directory is optional, but most families find this resource extremely useful for connecting with others in the community –especially this year!   

Classroom Liaisons:  At this time, we are looking for 1-2 classroom liaisons (room parents) per Cohort.  This year may look a bit different, but typical responsibilities include emailing communications to parents from teachers and the Friends of Cutler, soliciting volunteers when requested, and supporting the needs of the class for special projects and activities. Fifth Grade parents help organize and staff special events, as well as plan/execute Fifth Grade Week.  If you are able and interested in volunteering in this capacity, please contact Lauren LoMonaco ( or Lindsay Taylor ( directly, by Friday November 6th.  This is an important volunteer position, particularly this year, and we would love and appreciate your involvement!  

If your child(ren) is/are a remote learner, and you are looking for ways to connect with other remote families, please reach out and we will do our best to keep you connected.  Perhaps we can assign 1-2 Remote Liaisons as well.

Scholastic Book Fair:  Get ready…Our Book Fair is going online this year, with a Virtual Fair! From November 9th through November 22nd, discover new books with your kids. Bonus: Each purchase supports our school.  More info in next week’s NTU!


Acord Thanksgiving Food Drive:  Every year FoC assists Acord Food Pantry with their Thanksgiving Food Drive.  This year, Acord has asked us to donate 125 small boxes of tea and 125 bags of coffee. 

Please visit the SignupGenius to review the available slots - simply click on the following link:

Please note that the donation deadline is Friday, 11/13/20. You may send the item(s) in to school with your child on their in-school days. Thank you for your generosity!


Signs of Thanks and Teacher Snack Cart (deadline extended): As we enter the season of gratitude, we would like to show our thanks to the Cutler staff and faculty.  In addition to the November snack cart (a special treat for faculty and staff), The FoC Hospitality Committee would love for Cutler families to make “Signs of Thanks” for our Cutler community. The signs will be posted in the building in November for staff and faculty to read! 

Please have your family or child(ren) create one or more 8x11 or larger thank you signs for all staff and faculty (not just a particular teacher). 

Please drop your signs off by November 12th at:

5 Moynihan Road South Hamilton, MA (drop off bin in driveway) 

or email or for a pick up at your house! 

ALSO: If you would like to contribute to the November snack cart, please sign up here:

All food donations can be dropped off at 5 Moynihan Road or a pick up can be arranged by November 12th! 

Next Meeting:  There will be an FOC meeting on Thursday, November 12, at 7PM via Zoom.

Details to follow in next weeks NTU. 

Thank you all for our attention and involvement!

Warm regards,

The Friends of Cutler Executive Board

VIRTUAL AUTHOR VISIT at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library:

Author Katie Coppens Explores Writing & Science!

Thursday, November 5th at 4:00 PM

Hear from local author Katie Coppens as she discusses her book series "The Acadia Files" during this virtual event.
Find out about her writing process, and get inspiration for YOUR next story!

Katie will share a science experiment featuring mechanical weathering, allowing participants to evaluate different rocks using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

We will provide Take & Make bags with safety goggles, mica, and quartz so that every participant can
join Katie for the experiment.

For children ages 7 - 11 years old.
Online Registration is required SIGN UP HERE
We ask that you watch this quick 7-min video of Katie reading the chapter that features the activity at the following link:
a ZOOM link will be sent to you prior to the program