Dear Parents,

We hope this finds you well and enjoying a beautiful summer. The custodial staff has been doing a tremendous job cleaning the building.  It will be sparkling clean when we begin the school year on Tuesday, September 6.  

We have been busy preparing for the school year.  In addition to individual classroom work, groups of teachers have worked together throughout the summer to plan lessons and create materials. This impressive work demonstrates the dedication our staff has to improving the learning of all children.    

You are invited to a Parent/Student Orientation on Thursday, September 1. Students and parents are invited to drop in anytime between 8:30-9:30AM. This is the time for you and your child to visit the classroom, meet the teacher, and become acquainted with other children in the class.  It is a wonderful way to prepare your child for our opening day.  There will not be a trial bus run, but there will be a bus in front of the school for you and your child to board. You and your child are also welcome to visit the art, music, gym, and library classrooms.  It will also be a time to visit with ClipperCare staff.  PLEASE DO NOT park in the InterMed parking lot or the People’s United Bank as those spaces are reserved for patients and customers.

For your child’s immediate preparation for school, you should label all personal belongings.  There is no need to purchase any school supplies.  A backpack to carry items to and from school is the only thing your child will need. Your child’s teacher will need a note from you stating where your child is to be dropped off after school.  This will help the teacher make sure your child is on the correct bus at the end of the day.

Bus schedules will appear in The Notes, Falmouth Forecaster, and the Portland Press Herald. Please contact Bruce Bickford or Jud Sawyer, 846-2338, with any questions about the bus.

Our Rowe School handbook is found on our website. It contains very important information about our school and our policies. Please take time to read through it to familiarize yourself with our school.

Playground coverage does not begin until 8:25. If you choose to bring your child to school prior to this time, you are responsible for supervision. Other parents on the playground are not responsible for children other than their own. Please also note that  our designated drop-off area is only large enough for three or four cars. That area gets congested in the mornings and afternoons. I strongly suggest that for AM and PM drop-off and pick-up you park in the parking lot.  This protocol will eliminate traffic jams and will also make it safer to walk children to and from the school. The drop-off area should be used only between the hours of 8:50 AM and 2:45 PM. Thank you very much for helping us keep traffic flowing and children safe.

All school buildings are locked during the school day.  The Rowe School will be locked after the bell rings at 8:40 until bus dismissal.  When arriving at school during these hours, you will need to ring the bell and identify yourself. Children are not tall enough to ring the bell; therefore, you must walk your child to the door to be buzzed in. Amanda Cote, or whoever might be at the desk, will ask you for identification before buzzing you in.  If a family member or neighbor will be picking up your child, please call the school to inform us, and ask that person to bring identification to the door.  We ask that you be patient with us while we get to know you.

If you are picking your child up at the end of the day, our protocol is to sign the child out in the office and to wait in the atrium until classes end. This allows teachers to conclude their lessons before children leave.  All children will go out on the playground and when the bell rings, adults will bring those children back into the building. They will be supervised in the corridor until you make contact with that adult, which allows us to keep children supervised at all times. Please be sure to introduce yourself to the adults on duty so we can get to know you as quickly as possible.

We know that change and transitions can be difficult for students and adults alike.  One way to ease the transition from home to school is for students to take the bus to school.  Saying a quick goodbye at the bus stop helps the child get ready for the new school day.  We have experienced students and parents having a difficult time with the separation at the school playground.  Watching a parent and child having difficulty often can lead children witnessing the sad good-bye to suddenly feel sad themselves, resulting in a domino effect of sad feelings. While we prefer students arrive by bus, if you choose to drive your child, please make the goodbye very brief – a quick hug, kiss or a wave allows your child to enter the playground easily. Our experience tells us that once the children are with friends they do very well.

In addition, while we welcome parents to join children for lunch, we discourage this for the first six weeks of school. The First Six Weeks of School is a time when we are building community, establishing rituals and routines, and creating a safe and nurturing school environment. We believe this is in the best interest of the students so there are no tearful separations or other children feeling sad that their parent didn’t come.  This creates a very difficult situation for the student, the parent, and the teacher.

We ask that you abide by our policy of not coming for lunch until after the magical six weeks of school have passed.  We will welcome you for lunch after October 17!

Tuesday, September 6, is the first day of school for First Graders ONLY. The schedule is as follows:

8:40 AM to 3:25 PM

Grade 1 lunch is from 12:25-12:45

Kindergarten Students will have a one-hour appointment with the classroom teacher on either September 6 or 7.  Be sure to schedule your appointment with your child’s classroom teacher.

Thursday, September 8 is the first full day of school for Kindergarten Students.

            Kindergarten lunch is from 11:55-12:15

September 22 Open House 6:00 P.M.

            Open House is an evening without children when your child’s classroom teacher will present information about his/her expectations and curriculum.

We look forward to working with you this year.      

The Staff at Rowe School