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Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

Dear FSMA Families,
Welcome Back! I hope you’re having a wonderful summer and that it has been filled with great moments and memories. I also hope that you are recharged and ready to start a new school year. All signs point to another incredible and productive school year. Our skilled and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families, ordering materials, and updating student files. Our hard working and conscientious facilities and custodial crew have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning and preparing both buildings. And, our much appreciated PTO is gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and offer other exciting events and programs. We are indeed a joyful community with a common goal of nurturing responsible, caring students who are achieving at high levels.
Thank you so much for helping us prepare for the new school year. Your commitment to ensuring that First State Montessori Academy remains a celebrated and successful school is awe-inspiring. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families again and can’t wait until the first day of school. Liz and I will be out front ready to welcome you (along with our friendly giraffe!).
Here are some details that we thought would be helpful as you prepare for the beginning of school.

New Staff
Each year brings positive change. As we continue to grow, we have added some additional teachers. We are delighted to welcome some incredible educators to the FSMA Family. In K/1st grade, Jennifer Scarpitti will be working with Ellen Kropiewnicki. In 2nd/3rd grade, we have added a new classroom that will be taught by Sarah Bateman and Maribeth Low. In addition, Toria Avigliano will be working with Megan Feliceangeli. In 4th/5th/6th grade, we welcome Carly Ewald, Kara Baron, Emilie Englehardt, Leah Berrick, and Jennifer Leitner. Our 7th grade team will be Natalie Marchiani and Liz Plant.
Our new librarian, Jessica Gascard, our new technology teacher, Susan Cornett, and our new music teacher, Sheila Jackson, come with great experience and we look forward to all they are going to bring to FSMA.
Also joining us this year are Becky Adeleke, our new upper school nurse, Leah Fyock, our new educational diagnostician, and Jennifer Whittaker, our new speech-language pathologist. And, rounding out our special education team, Meghan Cattermole will be working with students in the lower school.

“Meet the Teacher” (August 24th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Attendance for this event is important, even if you already know your teacher. This event is designed to help children with the transition back to school and help them re-connect with their teacher. In addition, we will be giving out information, checking in with our families, and teachers will collect information from parents. If you cannot attend, please email your child’s teacher to connect with them about any necessary information.

Breakfast/Lunch Service
If you are planning to order the first two weeks of school, you will need to check out the menu (on our website after 8/20) and fill out the Meal Order Form (included) and return it at “Meet the Teacher” night. If you are not ordering the first two weeks, the form is due by 8/31 to order for the remainder of September. We know this is a quick turnaround, but because we don’t see you until the beginning of the month, it is the only way to make it work. Thanks for being so flexible and helping us to get our ordering done on time.

Student Placement
A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into the process of student placement for the upcoming school year. Careful consideration was given to input from staff and families as well as student learning styles. One of the great things about FSMA is that we have amazing teachers and thus we feel confident that every child will be placed in an incredible learning environment. We are currently finalizing class lists and you may call the office after August 15th to find out your child’s teacher.

Bus stops and times are ready. Please see the attached notice, and let us know any questions you may have about your assigned stop. Bus stops were created based on the Transportation Contract you sent in, if you need to make a change, we will do our best to accommodate, but cannot guarantee changes. We have added buses and stops this year… as always, thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility in the beginning of the year as we finalize stop times.

Facilities Updates
If you have been in the school over the past few weeks, you may have noticed numerous projects going on. We are repainting the main stairwell and touching up many areas in the lower school. To accommodate our new middle school, we are creating a math lab and a science lab. While many projects will be completed by the start of the school year, we have two additional projects that will be ongoing in the fall – creating a music room on the lower level of the upper school and redesigning our gym to accommodate a variety of sports including basketball (yes, we will be hosting home games for our middle school team this year). Lots of great new spaces for great new programs!

Programs and School Activities
Afterschool club schedules will come home the first week of school. The first session begins September 18th. We will continue to offer a variety of enrichment opportunities for children. In addition, we have added another opportunity for the upcoming school year. Our younger students (under 8) are invited to join the FSMA soccer team. Please check out our website for details and to download the registration form. Registration needs to be completed by August 25th and can be turned in to the main office.

Other Updates
Our website is full of updates… we have revised our Family Handbook (a copy will be given out at the beginning of the school year) and our Wellness Policy , added information about this year’s testing results, and added many important dates to our school calendar. Be sure to check it out and if you have not yet “liked” us on Facebook, please do as we like to share events and activities here as well.
We hope you have all the information you need to feel ready for the upcoming school year, but feel free to reach out if there are any questions you have… we are here to make sure you have everything you need! The staff at FSMA is looking forward to another year of great things at FSMA. Again, welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!

In Friendship,

Courtney Fox, Head of School

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