Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are some great ideas in this display of Mrs. Foster's fifth grade student work. Each student wrote one idea for reducing her carbon footprint. Come on in and check it out.

- Larry Fliegelman

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Spofford Book Fair

Art teacher, Bonnie Ashmore Davis and her daughter sit in front of Spofford art at Barnes and Noble at the Book Fair. Thank you to Mrs. Patch for organizing such a great event.

- Larry Fliegelman

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tonal Collages

These beautiful images come from Ms. Marino's art class with Ms. Dalton. The project is called "Tonal Collages." Come by the school and take a look in the hall near the art room to these up close.

- Larry Fliegelman

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Report Card Guides

As report card time is just about upon us, it is time for the yearly reminder about our Standards Based Report Card. Please read "Understanding the Card" for your grade level.

Thank you.

Larry Fliegelman

Monday, November 16, 2009

June 2009 Parent Survey

Later this week, I will present this information from the Parent Survey conducted in June 2009. The results show an positive increase in many important areas.
Thank you for taking a look.
Larry Fliegelman

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grade 6 Art

This great art project, created by the sixth graders are recreations of the Lascaux cave drawings. Come in anytime to take a look.

- Larry Fliegelman

4th Grade Poetry and Multiplication

Near Mrs. Salerno's room you can find these two great bulletin boards of student work. Poetry and multiplication are a great combination. Please come check it out.

- Larry Fliegelman

Saturday, November 14, 2009

6th Grade Biopoems

Check out these Biopoems written by some sixth graders. They are hanging in the hall near Mrs. Magee's room.

- Larry Fliegelman

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lost and Found Again

The Lost and Found Shelves in the Main Lobby are filling up fast. Please come and claim your items this week. We will be donating what is left at the end of the day on Friday.

A note about these photographs: I included a photo a few weeks back just to illustrate the amount of clothes on the shelves. Last week, I received an email from a parent thanking me for including the photo because she noticed that long-lost fleece that she didn't even realize her child had worn to school. Success. So, I include these close up photos in the hopes that one of you recognize your child's clothing. Good luck.

- Larry Fliegelman

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student-Collected Staff Data

The 4th/5th Learning Center gathered data from staff, collated the data, and created graphs to display the data.

Some highlights: Honda seems to be the most popular staff car, red and blue are the favorite colors, and Bruce Springsteen is the favorite singer.


- Larry Fliegelman

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dias de los Muertos

Some fifth grade students created these fantastic Day of the Dead faces in Spanish class. They hang in the fifth grade hall. Please come take a look.

- Larry Fliegelman

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chorus Fundraiser Flyer

Download and complete the order form. Or you can order online at: and click on the Polar Bear icon on the Home Page (please do not select shipping option online).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Solar Panels are Online!

Finally, the kinks have been worked out of the solar panel installation. The panels are generating electricity, and the display in the in main lobby is reporting all sorts of data.

Many thanks to Candyce Wainwright, Steve Clifford, and Bob Whiteneck for their persistence in working with the contractor to get this system working.

Also, many thanks to the Town of Boxford for suggesting Spofford Pond School as the place to install the town's first solar panels. We are excited and proud that the panels are installed on our roof.

Please come to the main lobby of the school to see the display. From the main parking lot you can see the panels to the right of the main entrance.

- Larry Fliegelman

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pink and Denim Success

Wow! What a great day. Hundreds of students and staff wore pink and denim and pink ribbon stickers. Please come see the photos of the day posted in the main lobby.

In addition, we raised well over $2200 in just one day!

I am especially thankful to Mrs. Whittaker (Special Educator) and Sarah Scherbak (6th grader) for coming up with the ideas. Also thanks to the PTO and one parent in particular for providing stickers, nail files, and planners.

It was a great community effort to raise awareness of challenging illness and show support for our community members affected by Breast Cancer.

Thank you to all involved.

- Larry Fliegelman

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lost and Found

Dear Parents,

The lost and found shelves are filling up fast. Please come in and look for child's belongings. We will donate the unclaimed items after a reminder in the Spofford Times.

Thank you.

- Larry Fliegelman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Project Adventure

I know that Project Adventure was a few weeks ago, but I also know that it was an experience the students will never forget. When you have a chance, please come to the school to see the many photos posted on the bulletin boards near the sixth grade classrooms. This small sample photo hardly does justice to the experience as you can't really see the the expressions on the children's faces. The determination and motivation to participate in these fantastic challenge-by-choice climbing activities is visible on their faces. Others have the look of sheer joy and accomplishment. Project Adventure is a fantastic component of the sixth grade experience.

Special thanks to the many parents who helped organize and chaperone the two days at Project Adventure. Also thanks to the parent photographers and Bob Sparkes for photographing and creating the hallway displays.



Spofford Pond Pink & Denim Fundraiser

Dear Spofford Community,

There has been a few questions about pink shirts and boys. First I'd like to advocate for how wonderful a color pink is. I have two pink dress shirts. Second, the PTO will provide pink ribbon stickers that can take the place of pink shirts.

I also want to mention that this fund raiser and event is being presented in a way designed not to alarm the children. We are not teaching details or statistics about the disease. The event will include only general references to Breast Cancer as a disease that affects mostly women; including some in our extended community. I will mention the teacher currently on leave and that others in the community have faced this as well. Finally, I will mention that by engaging in this fund raiser, we are showing support to anyone in our community who is now, or has, any experience with Breast Cancer. 

Please see the attached the flyer about Spofford Pond's first Pink and Denim Fund Raiser to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
Larry Fliegelman

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Code of Conduct Quick Survey of Families

The survey is now closed. Thank you to all who completed it.

As the Behavior Team completes its work, I will share the results.

If you still have feedback that you would like to share, please email me directly:


Monday, October 12, 2009

September Blue Slips

80 Blue Slips to 68 different students!

At Spofford Pond School we know the Four BEs and Do The Right Thing.

To read more about the Four BEs and the Code of Conduct, please look here or here.

I an proud that so many Blue Slips were handed out during the first few weeks of school. Keep up the good work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Read Naturally

Back in January 2009, we published in The Spofford Times a mention of Read Naturally. Here is that text:

The Special Education teachers are excited about the computer program that is now available called Read Naturally. This research-based program is designed to help students improve their reading fluency (reading rate and accuracy). In the very near future, we will be able to access the program from any computer in the school, which will give us more opportunities to utilize this outstanding program.

Today, I was in a special education classroom and watched some students using Read Naturally. They were excited to work with the teacher to test their reading fluency of a passage that the teacher and the software had chosen for their reading level. What I thought was so fantastic about watching Read Naturally used was that the students were absolutely eager.

The photo I included here shows some of the posters explaining the steps to using Read Naturally. These are on the wall just above the classroom computers.

If you have any questions about Read Naturally or other programs that we use, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 2, 2009

An Astronaut comes to Spofford Pond

We had a fantastic assembly with NASA Astronaut, Captain Steve Bowen. Capt Bowen gave a great presentation about his recent mission aboard the space shuttle. The students seemed to enjoy the sites and sounds, especially the realistic launch sound effects.

At the end of his presentation, Captain Bowen presented the school a fantastic photo collage along with a mission patch and small American flag that accompanied the Captain in space.

Special thanks to the PTO for sponsoring this great opportunity at both Spofford Pond and Harry Lee Cole Schools.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blue Slips Coming Soon

I am getting ready to post the Blue Slips from September. Check out the main lobby in the next few days to see the many examples of children doing the right thing. I will post again to show the slips on display.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fantastic Third Grade

This morning, the third grade had a blast (and learned something too). For the first forty-five minutes of the day, while the third grade teachers were at Harry Lee Cole School meeting with second grade teachers, I met with the entire third grade student body. After taking attendance and lunch counts with the help of Mrs. Lomanno, Mrs. Sennott, and Mrs. Hawkes, I showed the students a couple of video clips and a website.
First we saw a science-music video from Bill Nye the Science Guy about hand-washing. You can find that on YouTube (). The students loved the lips and the slow-motion sneeze the best. Hopefully, they got the message about washing their hands.
We also took a look at the website from a wonderful BBC kids program called One Minute Wonders ( These short clips (about one minute long) explain one main idea in a way that the students seemed to enjoy very much. We watched a few of these and laughed a lot.
Finally, we also watched a really cool video that shows each of our 44 presidents. The neat part of this video is that while the patriotic music is playing, the faces morph from one president to another. I was fascinated to observe that the students cheered for Presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Regan, both George Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. There was near silence for Chester Arthur and Rutherford Hayes. ()
Please ask your third-grader about this morning.
Thank you.
-Larry Fliegelman

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blue Slip for a Bake Sale

From the Spofford Times:
While the criteria for Blue Slips is still being clarified, this weekend was a case of you'll-know-it-when-you-see-it. On Friday, Mrs. Stewart mentioned that Sarah S., Robert M., and Hannah P. (all Student Council members) decided to mount a Bake Sale the next day if I approved. They had already secured a booth, parental help, and a few volunteers. I agreed to send out an email Friday afternoon to solicit donations. Well the community came through. The students sold every cookie on the table (and on the extra desk in the background). They raised more than $300 to support the Student Council activities this year. For this, they deserve a Boxford Blue Slip.

This photo shows the card the students created to explain why they held the Bake Sale.
We have great kids at Spofford Pond School!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Open House Presentation

Now that both Open Houses are complete, I am posting the Principal's Presentation for anyone who could not make it to school.
This presentation focuses on the vision that I have for Spofford Pond as well as the specific work we are doing to meet that vision, to achieve the objectives in our School Improvement Plan, and to attain the goals of the Boxford School Committee Strategic Plan.
Please take a look and contact me if you have any questions.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One slip, two slip, red slip, blue slip. What are these slips about?

As I referenced in the Newsletter, here is more information about the New Code of Conduct. The document here shows the entire code - one page. This also appears in the Handbook on pages 33-34.
One slip, two slip, red slip, blue slip. What are these slips about? The red slips allow any staff member to inform a child's teacher about some mis-behavior. When I say all staff, I mean teachers, assistants, secretaries, custodians, recess monitors, and more are empowered to ask a student to stop and/or pass the red slip onto the homeroom teacher. This consistent, building-wide approach will allow us to avoid the circumstance where the same student is asked by three or four staff members to stop running in the hall and no one knows that the student received three warnings in one day. Since all of the Red Slips go to the Homeroom teacher, there is one person tracking each student, one place for information to flow.
If a child gets three "Red Slips" in one day for violating the Code, the Homeroom teacher will contact the parents with either a phone call or a note home. Since contacting home works for many children, that will likely be the end of the unwanted behavior. However, contacting parents works best when you take the notice seriously. Please understand that we do not do these actions lightly. Sometimes, children insist they are completely innocent, and your job is to listen to your child. If you are left with questions, please call the teacher and ask. Please understand that, while mistakes are made, the vast majority of situations are based on the behavior of the child. If we work together, we can still honor the words of the children and hold the children accountable for their actions.
In the future, I will explain what happens if parent contact does not do the trick. Also, we are still working on exactly what would earn a child a Blue Slip (for doing the right thing) and what the reward or recognition might be.
Thank you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to the new Spofford Pond Principal's Page

Welcome Spofford Community!

In these pages I will post news, links to school information, documents that you might need to download, resources for parents, and sometimes my opinion. Mary Dodge, Lannie Foster, and Kathy Cyr may also post to this blog from time to time. Please check often or, better yet, subscribe to this blog so that you will always have the latest news. Thank you.

-Larry Fliegelman

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

3rd Grade Parent Orientation Presentation

Here is the slide show from the 3rd Grade Parent Orientation held in June.
Please call the school if you have any unanswered questions.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Boxford Elementary Schools Handbook

Dear Parents,
The 2009-2010 Boxford Elementary Schools Parent and Student Handbook is available here. You will receive a separate signature sheet on the first day of school. Please review the Handbook online, sign, and return the signature page as soon as you can.
I am particularly proud of the new Spofford Pond Code of Conduct. A team of staff members and I worked to create a Positive Behavioral Intervention System. Our approach combines the clarity and simplicity of having four main rules from which all student behavior can flow. The four BEs are:
1. Be Responsible: Follow directions, stay in assigned area.
2. Be Safe: Walking at all times, keep hands, feet, body parts and other objects to yourself.
3. Be Respectful: Use active listening. No bullying, harassment, put downs, teasing, foul language or vandalism of property.
4. Be Considerate: Use appropriate voice volume indoors, keep all areas of the school clean, and do not talk while others are talking.
With the consistency of this school-wide approach, student behavior can be addressed quickly and fairly.
Thank you very much.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leadership Day 2009

I am possibly the luckiest principal around. You see I work in a school that amazes me in so many ways: the students work hard and learn tons, the staff is incredibly talented and devoted, the parents and town are the most supportive anywhere, and the technology is first class.  

So, what am I writing about on Technology Leadership Day? With so much going on at my school, I want to report on our progress towards integrating technology in a meaningful way.
When I arrived at my school two years ago, we were in the beginning of a major transition in terms of technology. Phase one of the Touched by Technology fundraising and purchasing campaign was complete, and every classroom teacher (not special educators or specialists) had a new laptop. Phase two was underway and will, by September 2009, include a SmartBoard in every regular ed. classroom (again, no special education or specialists. More on this later.) September 2007 also saw the introduction of a real email service for the staff instead of asking teachers to sign up for a yahoo account.

Over the last two years, we have come to rely on email as a way to eliminate paper in many situations; we have introduced a school calendar on Google calendar; I have begun spreading the use of Google Docs to various constituencies around school; at least one teacher created a classroom blog using the website subscription we buy the teachers; many teachers have made the SmartBoard a part of their daily teaching; many teachers have made the laptop mobile carts a regular feature in their rooms. 

So, as of Leadership Day 2009 every professional staff member has a laptop, every homeroom has a SmartBoard, we have well equipped lab, and two mobile carts. Most staff members have had hours of training and mentoring. Most teachers have websites. Things are good.

Where are we going from here? There are two areas that we are going to work on next year. First, we are going to review and reinvigorate our technology skills scope and sequence. Second, I am going to work with a small group of teachers to look into ways that we can integrate our technology and, more importantly, to explore what’s out there that we should be using. 

As principal, I am excited about increasing our use of technology.

Thank you.