Family Newsletter - September 18, 2023
18 September 2023

Family Newsletter - September 18, 2023

Hello Butler families!
The first full week of school has come and gone. There was a lot of positive energy in the classrooms and hallways of Butler last week and I anticipate this is going to be an incredible school year. It has been wonderful meeting many new families and seeing those of you who are returning. I look forward to continuing to learn more about your child(ren) and working with you to build a strong relationship that supports the growth of everyone in the Butler community.

Respectfully, 
Julie Babson
Principal

School Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack

Breakfast will be available for students from 8:10-8:25am. Like lunches, breakfast will be free for the 23-24 school year. Families interested in having their chil(ren) receive a school breakfast should go to the Sycamore Street side entrance of the school where a staff member will greet them. Students will go to the nearby kitchen to get a breakfast (muffin or pastry, juice, and fruit) and will be supervised in the cafeteria by a Butler staff member until 8:25 when they will be brought outside where staff supervision will continue. Students who attend morning BEDP can also get a school breakfast and will be brought back to their BEDP location until the start of the school day. Snacks will still be offered for students during the day, but it is important to note that students who receive a breakfast will not be allowed to also get a “snack” later in the day.

School lunch meals will be available at no cost for all students through the 2023-2024 school year! Students will be charged $3.25 for a second mea or $.75 for a second drink. If students bring their own lunch from home and want a school drink (milk), they will be charges $.75. Belmont uses MySchoolBucks for online payment. Students need to have funds on their account to purchase a la carte food or second meals. For more information,   https://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bps/Home/Food-Services

Although meals will be at no cost for all students, it is beneficial for families in need to complete the household Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals for the 2023-2024 school year. These forms will be available in September online at https://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/bps/Home/Food-Services/Free-Reduced-Price-Meals

It is strongly recommended that you submit an application if you believe your family would qualify based on income. It may also allow the school to establish eligibility for P-EBT benefits (if this program https://www.mass.gov/news/massachusetts-approved-to-provide-p-ebt-for-families-through-summer-2023  is extended for the 2023-2024 school year) and other school programs.

Arrival on Rainy or Extreme Cold Days

For those of you new to the Butler School, there is an alternative indoor arrival procedure on days when it is rainy or extremely cold. K-2 students enter the building by the door closest to the gym and basketball court. Grade 3 & 4 students will enter the door at the back of the school by the alleyway. I will decide by 8:20 if it will be an indoor line arrival and staff members will be at the front door, gym door, and alleyway door directing students inside. Additional staff members will be inside guiding students to their line-up spots. Parents/guardians will not be allowed inside.

While we understand it can come across as abrupt, quick goodbyes are good for students (even though they can be hard for parents).  The message we want to give to students is that school is a place of learning and that every minute counts.  The sooner we get students into school, the quicker they get settled and their learning can begin.  Lastly, in order to ensure everyone’s safety, we ask all parents not to walk their children inside and directly to class.  Our intent is not to be unwelcoming to parents; it is to ensure that our hallways are safe.  That safety becomes compromised when adults without IDs are allowed to wander up to classrooms, because we are unable to discern a parent from any other stranger.

Before School Supervision
The Butler playground is a busy place before, during, and after school. For families who drop their child (ren) off or have them walk to school, there is no Butler staff member outside supervising children until 8:25am. Also, please note that while we do offer before-school supervision on the playground beginning at 8:25 am, we do not provide after school supervision once the day ends at 2:50pm.

Electronic Devices

As more and more students are coming to school with electronic devices such as cell phones and smart watches, it is important to note the policy from the Student and Family Handbook:

Please leave personal electronic devices at home. If a student has a phone or wearable electronic device (e.g., Smartwatches, Smart Glasses, other personal devices), the device must be kept off and away during the school day.  Students who have a medical reason to wear a smartwatch or other wearable device should provide documentation to the school nurse, who can communicate the exception to school staff.  Any families who need to contact their children during the school day are asked to avoid using phones and wearable electronic devices but to instead call the school directly and speak to our office staff. 

Picture Day & Order

Hayward Photography will be at Butler on Thursday, September 28th for Picture Day. ONLINE ORDERS ARE PREFERRED AND STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.  You can go to www.haywardphotography.com if you want to preorder pictures. Click here for online ordering and pricing information. The pre-order option will be available through Wednesday, October 4th at 8:00am.  All print orders will be mailed directly to the home addresses provided at checkout.  If families do not order by the deadline, your child will still have their picture taken and will receive a NO BUY proof card with instructions on how you can order at that point. 

Curriculum Night

September 28th is Curriculum Night from 6:30-8pm for all elementary schools, which will be in person. This is an opportunity for families to meet classroom teachers, specialists, service providers, and special education teachers as well as to get an overview of the year. Butler is working with the PTA and BEDP to provide child care during this time. More information will be coming about child care. While general questions are welcome during the classroom visits, this is not a time for questions about individual children. The schedule for the evening is below. Please wait until the scheduled time before entering classrooms. 

6:30-7:00 - Grades K-2 presentation in classrooms
                   Grade 3-4 Specialists, service providers, special education teachers in Gym or rooms

7:05-7:25 - All Families in Cafeteria

7:30-8:00 - Grades 3-4 presentation in classrooms
                  Grades K-2 specialists, service providers, special education teachers in Gym or rooms 

Nurse’s Notes: 

I would like to extend a warm welcome back to all students and families. I hope that the summer has provided you and your children a time for both fun and rest. I look forward to helping to keep your children healthy this school year.

Attention Kindergarten, 1st and 4th Grade Families Updated physicals are required of all students entering kindergarten, 1st and 4th grade.  Some physicals have been received but many are still missing.  Please send in a copy of your child’s physical (dated within the last 12 months) as soon as you are able.  If your child has a physical scheduled between now and the end of the school year, please let me know the appointment date so that I know when I can expect to receive the form.

Extra Clothes Accidents happen. Toileting, lunch and snack spills, and wet recess equipment are many of the reasons students may need a change of clothes during the school day. I have a limited supply of clothes in the clinic, so it can be helpful if students have a seasonally appropriate change of clothes to keep at school.

I am currently in need of gently used elastic waist pants in size extra small and small for those willing to donate. Your help and generosity is greatly appreciated. 

Please be sure to inform me of any severe allergies, surgeries, accidents, illness, or new health conditions that may have developed during the summer months or which may occur during the school year. If I can be of any help to you or your child throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time.

Lisa Harteveldt
Butler School Nurse
lharteveldt@belmontschools.net 

Important Dates

  • September 15-17 - Rosh Hashanah
  • September 19 - PTA General Meeting - Butler Library 5:30-7pm
  • September 24-25 - Yom Kippur
  • September 28 - Picture Day
  • September 28 - Curriculum Night
  • October 4 - National Walk to School Day 
  • October 9 - Indigenous Peoples’ Day - NO SCHOOL

Resources

Here are some Back to School Resources for Parents.
To receive emails from our school, please follow this link and sign up for the listserve.
Here is the district webpage with resources for new families.