Monday, March 29, 2021

News to Use - March 29, 2021

Upcoming Important Dates:

No School, Professional Development Day                            April 1st (date change)

No School, Good Friday                                                                           April 2nd   

No School Day, Scheduled Snow Day due to staff vaccinations     April 12th    

No School, April Vacation                                                                      April 19-23     


August in April

Next week's return to five days per week of in-person learning for most of our students is an exciting development. As we approach the first week of full classrooms, it is important to note that while our schedule will be nearly the same as usual, our days will continue to look a little different due to our mitigation strategies. We will spend the first few days building classroom communities as we bring cohorts together and welcome back many of our remote learners. In many ways, next week's return mirrors the yearly start of school in August. Early bedtimes, new routines (8:15am dropoff will inevitably feel much earlier than 8:30am by the end of the week!), and giving your child a little breathing space in the afternoons as they build up their school stamina will be important. Approaching this like the start of a new school year helps normalize many of these small transitions and will help students as they quickly become used to how this next step will feel.

Desks will be placed in every classroom to accommodate all students this Wednesday and teachers will use the day on Thursday to prepare their rooms and full sets of materials. Students will each have their own learning space, spaced out no less than three feet apart. Music, art, PE, and library/technology will be starting up again, with specialist teachers visiting each grade level classroom to deliver lessons (our specialist spaces are currently used for other purposes), with the hopes of having PE and music outside as much as possible. Lunch and snack times will take place outside as much as possible as well, with alternative plans for each classroom in the case of inclement weather. Masks can only be removed if individuals remain six feet apart, which means each classroom will have a tailored plan to make sure students can eat lunch safely in case of rain. Towels or small chairs are very helpful additions to our lunch strategy, as are layers of clothing and appropriate footwear!

Completing our daily symptom checker each morning before your child arrives at school is an important mitigation strategy, thank you for continuing to complete it five days a week starting on April 5th.

Last week's webinar regarding most of these details and our return next week can be viewed here if you weren't able to join us then.

Technology Device Return

As most students will be transitioning to in-person learning on April 5th, having the District's Chromebooks and iPads back in-house and available to our teachers will give them greater latitude when preparing their class plans.

We recognize that this is a change from our earlier plans of having the students return the devices on their first day back for in-person learning, but that plan did not allow enough time to clean and reset the computers for the classroom.

Those families with students attending in-person beginning April 5th, please bring the loaner device to Cutler School.

Drop-Off Details:

  • Drop-off Location: Cutler School, Main entrance
  • Date: Wednesday, March 31st.
  • Drop off window: 1 PM to 3 PM

The IT staff will meet at the main entrance to collect the devices and check them in.

Please return the following items:

  • Chromebook or iPad
  • The power cord
  • The power block
  • Any other borrowed accessory

We appreciate your help and patience as we work through this process.

Note to Full Remote Families: If your student has a loaner device and will continue in the fully remote mode, please keep the iPad or Chromebook until the end of the term.

Health Office News - Pooled Testing Information & Daily Symptom Checker

We have started pool testing at Cutler.  The district information and consent form can be found here:  

Here is a wonderful video from our the website made by our middle school and high school students explaining pool testing that I would recommend you watch and consider sharing with your children.  

Only students with signed consents will be participating in the program. Consents will be accepted on a rolling basis, with each week's testing rosters updated a week ahead of time.

Daily Home Symptoms Checklist Through SNAP Health Portal

Here is some information on how to use our daily symptom checker.

Please remember that we are asking families to log in to our parent portal to complete our symptom screening each morning.

You should have received log-in information from for how to access the portal. 

If you have not received an email, check you junk folder. When logging in for the first time, please ensure you type in your child's date using the following format with slashes:  mm/dd/yyyy.

Here is a How To video demonstrating the process.

If you are having any technical issues, please email Lynne Nardella, Cutler School Nurse at or call at 978-626-8545.

Please make it part of your morning routine to complete this symptom checker.

Thank you

Bus Transportation

There are still seats available on some bus routes. If you are interested in having your child ride the bus, please fill out the HWTransportation Registration form. 

Counselor's Corner

Return to full in-person learning

We are very excited to welcome your children back to school five days a week!  While returning to school full time is welcome news for most, changes in school routines can create feelings of anxiety in parents and children alike.  Therapist Lynn Lyons addresses these worries in her latest podcast and offers practical suggestions to manage them.  You can find the podcast here.

Puberty Lesson for Fourth and Fifth Grade Students

Each year as part of our Growth and Development Curriculum, we present a lesson on puberty to our fourth and fifth grade students.  We address the growth and development process, physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty and the increased responsibilities that accompany this important milestone.  This lesson will be presented to students on Friday, April 9th.  I emailed a letter to fourth and fifth grade parents and guardians on Friday with additional information that included a link to the required permission form as well as a zoom link for a parent video preview.  If you have a fourth or fifth grade student, please ensure you have filled out this linked permission form.

As always, I am available by email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have.


Ann Creilson

Cutler School Adjustment Counselor