Monday, January 11, 2010

In a principals' email letter, MGRHS's Kaiser briefs two initiatives

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 08:22:02 -0500
From: Ellen Kaiser and Tim Payne <>
Subject: [MGRHS Announcements] Principals' Letter 1/10

To All Mt. Greylock Families

Warmest New Year Greetings and welcome to the first in a series of quarterly Mt. Greylock Regional School Updates, which focus on larger developments shaping your students' education now and in the near future. Today we cover two major middle school and high school initiatives:


Mt. Greylock has long been known for teaching writing well, and we're delighted to announce that our middle school teachers are adopting the Collins Writing Program, a nationally recognized method for teaching and assessing writing across the curriculum. (More on Collins at Even better, because Lanesborough and Williamstown elementary schools also employ the Collins writing method, our incoming Mt. Greylock students will be building on a firm foundation established in elementary grades. Our teachers' efforts have already improved writing instruction for middle schoolers and will help make next year's new middle schoolers feel at home from their first day at Mt. Greylock.


Meanwhile, we have been working to ease the equally challenging transition from middle school to high school. A group of ninth grade teachers led by Kellie Houle spent a day last summer establishing common expectations, assessments, and cross-curricular connections for new high school students, which were shared with students on the first day of school and with parents at this fall's Open House events. Evan Paris and Brian Gill have developed a parallel ninth grade wellness curriculum, which focuses on activities that build community and citizenship. Our teachers have taken these efforts to the next level by meeting monthly with small groups of ninth graders so that now at least one adult in the building besides their guidance counselor knows each student well. These initiatives have proved to be particularly timely in light of recent incidents in which a few ninth graders threatened other students using grossly disrespectful language. Teaching tolerance and addressing bullyi
ng behavior can be addressed in an effective manner at the ninth-grade level, and we are committed to expanding such efforts throughout the entire school.

These are but two of many efforts at Mt. Greylock to improve every aspect of your students' educational experience. We look forward to sharing more in future updates. For breaking news, keep reading "Weekly Highlights" (thanks to Pat Dunleavy for excellent work on that essential parent communication!) and our occasional school-wide e-mail announcements.

If you have questions about these initiatives or any aspect of your students' education, please feel free to e-mail us.

And all best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010.

Ellen Kaiser
Co-Principal, Middle School

Tim Payne
Co-Principal, High School


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