August 2018   

Welcome to Garden Road Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year. 

I am very excited to have our children, staff, and families returning for the new school year.Hands icon 

I hope you have had a nice and fun-filled summer so far with your families and friends, and are feeling excited and energized to begin the new school year. 
School House
This summer Gregg and I were very fortunate to visit several islands in Greece and explore Athens, and then I had some delightful time home relaxing and enjoying.  The rest of the summer I spent planning, organizing, and working to get things ready for the beginning of school.  I miss having everyone around, and seeing the children every day.  I was thankful to have the students in ESS to visit and catch up with.  Mrs. Mary Nicholl and the ESS staff take such good care of our children.  At the end of the school year, Garden Road was designated as a Targeted
Title 1 School.  This is very exciting.  We will work together as a staff and school community to understand the requirements of how and where these federal funds can be spent to support our students at risk, and help to increase student achievement.
Our custodial staff, Tonya and Tony, has worked very hard to prepare the classrooms and school grounds for the new school year. I am grateful for our office staff.  Our Office Secretary, Pam McMaster, our Office Assistant, Melissa Angelo, and our Health Tech, Gabby Meadows, have worked very hard to prepare for the beginning of the school year.
Moving Up iconThe PTA and Foundation leadership met over the summer to plan the school calendar and school events.  We are very fortunate to have such caring, hardworking, and generous parents helping to support our efforts and instructional program

School begins on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 


Students arrive between 7:40 – 7:55 a.m.  The first bell rings at 7:55 a.m.  Students need to be in their seats by 8:00 a.m.  Students arriving after 8:00 a.m., are considered tardy, and need to come to the office for a late slip.

Grades 1-5
     8:00 – 2:20 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
     8:00 - 12:40 Friday
    8:00 – 1:00 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8/23 through 9/28.
    8:00 – 12:40 Friday
    8:00 – 2:20 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 10/2 – through the end of the year
    8:00 – 12:40 Friday
TK (Transitional Kindergarten)
   8:00 – 12:00 Monday through Friday all year
  “Who’s My Teacher?” Posting Party

Thank-you TeachersOn Monday, August 20th, our wonderful PTA and Foundation will sponsor a Posting Party from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR).  They will be offering some treats, and it is a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and neighbors. I look forward to seeing many of you at this time, and appreciate the PTA and Foundations’ efforts. 
Play Learn and Grow TogetherClassroom assignments will be posted at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room (MPR).  All students and families can come by and find out who their teachers are.  The class lists will remain posted on the MPR doors for families who cannot attend the Posting Party.  This is such an enjoyable way to spend some time with friends and celebrate the start of another fantastic school year.
I am very excited to introduce you to our new Garden Road staff.  We are  fortunate to have such talented and impressive people join our staff.  I know everyone is anxious to find out who their teacher will be and which teachers are teaching at each grade level.  Students continue to enroll each day and changes can happen up to the last moment.  That is why we wait until the very end of summer to finalize our classes and teacher assignments.
We went through an extensive process to hire our new staff, and I am proud to share that we are fully staffed.  To begin with, at the end of each school year, we survey our teachers about their grade preference, and make adjustments as needed.  When we have a teacher or staff opening, the position is posted through the district and inside and outside candidates can apply.  Resumes are carefully analyzed for the best match, experience, and skills.  References are checked and then we assemble an interview panel made up of our teachers and staff for that grade level.  We interviewed many qualified candidates for each grade level, interviewing between 5-8 different people each time.  Together we decided on the best candidate for each grade level, position, and team.  I think we are very fortunate to have our new staff, and I think they are very fortunate to be coming to Garden Road to work with you and your children.  As always, I am available and interested to discuss any questions or concerns as they arise.
Welcome Back to SchoolBack to School Night for Transition Kindergarten Parents (TK) and Kindergarten Parents
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 
This is a wonderful time for our TK and Kindergarten parents to meet with their TK teacher and their Kindergarten Teachers, and learn all about the classroom expectations, school experience, and curriculum.  This is an “adults only” evening. 
TK and Kindergarten Open House
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
We are so excited to welcome the newest members to the Garden Road school family.
TK’ers and Kindergarteners and their parents are invited to our TK/Kindergarten Open House.  This is an opportunity for students and their families to stop by for a short visit, see their classroom, and meet their teacher, prior to the first day of school.
New GRES Family Orientation
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.New to GRES
We want to welcome all of our new families to Garden Road.  Please join us on in our Multipurpose Room.  We will provide an overview of our school, welcome you to our school community, and will take you on a tour. 
It’s Back to School Time
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
We can’t wait to welcome all of our Garden Road students back to school.  Students in grades 1-5, can be dropped off starting at 7:40 a.m. until 7:55 a.m., and they will proceed to the black top.  Students need to arrive by 7:55 a.m.  School officially starts at 8:00 a.m.  The teachers, staff, and I will be waiting to greet our students and families on this first day of school.
Our TK and Kindergarteners gather outside their classrooms and will be greeted by their teachers.
For the safety of all our students and staff, the front and back gate will be closed and locked each morning at 8:10 a.m.
Back To School Night (BTSN) for Grades 1-5
Back to SchoolPlease mark your calendars for this important and exciting evening.  Back to School Night is a wonderful opportunity where you get to meet your child’s teacher, see the classroom from your child’s perspective, and learn all about the grade level curriculum, learning goals, class procedures, classroom processes, homework, and expectations.  This is a “parents only” evening.
BTSN is Thursday, August 30, 2018                                  
Grades 1st and 2nd will be at 5:30 p.m.  - 6:15 p.m.
Welcome by Principal, PTA and Foundation 6:20p.m. – 6:50 p.m.
Grades 3rd, 4th, 5th will be at 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Please join us for the Back to school Welcome from the Principal, PTA, and Foundation.  This provides an opportunity to gather everyone as school community and hear about how we can work together to support our students, their learning, and school experience.  I will welcome everyone and explain a bit of our goals and plans for the upcoming year, as well as introduce our wonderful staff.  Parents will then have the opportunity to meet and hear from the PTA President, Mrs. Miki Trusheim, and our Foundation Chairperson, Mr. Tim Pekarek, either after or before visiting their child’s classroom.  We are so fortunate to have such a supportive, hardworking, dedicated and committed parent community.  This is what helps to make Garden Road such a special place and school.
I am looking forward to our continued partnership and teamwork, working together to create a positive, loving, and challenging learning environment for our students and staff.  Please know that my door is always open.  Together we will make this a wonderful and successful year for each and every student.
Gail West
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