Family Newsletter - October 3, 2023
03 October 2023

Family Newsletter - October 3, 2023

Hello Butler families!
It was wonderful to see so many of you at Thursday night's Curriculum Night! As mentioned that night, I will strive to work with students, teachers, and families to continue making Butler a high-achieving school for all students academically, emotionally, and socially where everyone feels safe, respected, supported and successful. We've a wonderful start to the school year and I'm looking forward to all the growth and learning that will happen this year!

Respectfully,
Julie Babson
Principal

Conferences with Teachers

The Butler School is registering for the FALL session of Parent/Teacher Conferences. Registration for all conferences opens online on Friday, October 6th and closes on Friday, October 13th. Conferences begin on Wednesday, October 18th. Conferences will be VIRTUAL (preferred) via Google Meet or IN-PERSON

The Dates of Conferences are:

  • October 18th, from 12:15 PM to 3:00 PM (VIRTUAL)
  • October 25th, from 12:15 PM to 3:00 PM (VIRTUAL)
  • November 1st, from 12:15 PM to 3:00 PM (IN-PERSON)

How do parents register for a conference?

To register for a conference, please go to: Parent-Teacher Conferences and select your school. On the registration form, select between VIRTUAL or IN-PERSON, enter your name, e-mail address, password, phone number, and student name and then click on “Register”.

At the next screen, select the name of your child’s teacher. Once you have selected a teacher, you will be asked to select an available conference time. After selecting a conference time, you will then be able to confirm your selection and print or e-mail your schedule. The conferences this year will be virtual.

If you're scheduling conferences for twins, please register twice using a different email account for each. Please note: we do not retain parents information from the last year or populate the registration system with the student data information.

If I have difficulty registering, who do I contact?

Please contact the Conference Coordinator at Parent-Teacher Conferences Contact Us. Please include your name, your child’s full name, the school they attend, and teacher. What happens if I cannot make any of the listed conference times? Conferences can always be scheduled offline as you have done in the past. Please contact your child’s teacher directly.

How do I change my conference times?

To change your conference time during the registration session, go to: Parent-Teacher Conferences and log back into the system using your e-mail address and password. You can then delete the old conference time and add a new one. Do not contact your child’s teacher, unless you cannot make any of the available times.

You can also make changes by sending your question to the Conference Coordinator at Parent-Teacher Conferences Contact Us Please include your name, your child’s full name, the school they attend, and teacher.

When the registration session is closed, please contact your teacher to make any schedule changes.

How to connect to the virtual meeting

Virtual meetings are held using the Google Meet platform. Meetings can be joined using a web browser from any computer. You can also connect using a tablet or mobile device (depending on your device, you may be required to download the free Google Meet app when using a mobile device).

In the email with your schedule you will have a different link for each of your student's teachers. Follow the steps below to connect.

  • If you have not done it yet, please register your existing email with Google or create a new Google account. You will not be able to access your teacher’s virtual meeting room without a Google account.
  • NOTE: Use the same email address for virtual meetings you used to register for conferences.
  • During the designated time listed for each conference, click on the meet.google.com link listed in the teachers Room information.
  • Optional: You can choose to mute your microphone or disable your camera at this time prior to joining the meeting. Once you join you can turn your microphone on and camera if you so desire. See picture below
  • Click on "Ask to join" and you will be added to the queue to join the meeting. Wait for the teacher to admit you, DO NOT disconnect at this point. See picture below.
  • Once the teacher lets you in to the meeting you will be connected with the teacher in that meeting.

Updating Information in Plus Portal

The Butler School wants to make sure we have the most accurate and up to date information on you and your child(ren). We are asking you to do this in PlusPortal, which you can access from the link below and your email address. If you have not activated your account, you should have an email with a reminder activation link from PlusPortals. This link is on the PlusPortals homepage "What is PlusPortals, How do I get an account?"

Please submit the "Student Update Form" under Forms tab in PlusPortals to provide student emergency contacts, update your contact information, provide directory authorization, preferred language for communication, photo opt-out, and other information.

Butler: www.plusportals.com/butler

If you have any questions or concerns, please email belmontschools@belmontschools.net

Screening Letter

Earlier this week, Lucia Sullivan, Assistant Superintendent shared information about literacy screening. You can read this communication here. Below are some helpful resources for caregivers:

School Advisory Council Members Needed

The Butler School is looking for two parent representatives and a community representative for the School Advisory Council. According to the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, each school in the state is to have a School Advisory Council. The role of the Council is to assist the principal in identifying the educational needs of students, adopting educational goals for the school, reviewing the annual budget, and formulating the annual School Improvement Plan (which is subject to review by the School Committee). The SAC meets virtually every 4 times a year from 7-8pm. Please email Julie Babson if you are interested in participating on the School Advisory Council.

Notes From the Nurse

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.

Head Lice Time to Look for Head Lice… Now that summer activities with friends are over, it is time to inspect your child’s scalp for lice. Head lice are not uncommon in school aged children. Statistics show that head lice are found in 3-5% of the elementary population at any given time. Head lice are not harmful. They do not carry disease and they live exclusively on the human scalp. Routine regular inspection of children’s heads by parents and guardians is ESSENTIAL to combat the spread.

Instructions for inspecting and treating head lice are available in my office and on the Belmont schools website, under Health Services. If you have any questions about what you are looking for or what you might be seeing, please do not hesitate to contact me. More information from the MA Department of Public Health An article from the American Academy of Pediatrics can be found here

September is Childhood Obesity Month

Did you know that September is National Childhood Obesity Month? The CDC estimates that 17 percent of 2 to 19 year-old American children are obese, as measured by their body mass index (BMI) percentile. The rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

Obesity occurs when a child is significantly over the ideal weight for their height. Like adults, children become obese when they eat more calories than they use. Obesity in children is determined by using a body mass index (BMI) percentile. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height.

Childhood obesity can increase a child’s risk for serious and chronic medical problems, such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, high cholesterol, and orthopedic problems.

Researchers continue to search for ways to treat obesity, but taking preventive measures has proven to be the best method so far. This means eating a healthy diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein. It is also important to maintain an active lifestyle by getting at least an hour of physical activity a day. For more information can be found here

Picture Day & Ordering

It is not too late to order school pictures. You can go to www.haywardphotography.comClick 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.

Coffee with the Principal

Once a month, parents/guardians will have the chance to meet with Principal Babson to learn about school procedures, get answers to some of your questions, and meet other Butler parents. Some of the coffees will be in person in the school cafeteria after arrival and others will be virtual. Below are the dates, times, and locations:

Important Dates

  • October 4 - National Walk to School Day
  • October 5 - School Advisory Council Meeting
  • October 9 - Indigenous Peoples’ Day - NO SCHOOL
  • October 18 - Parent Teacher Conferences - 11:40am Early Release
  • October 20 - Fun Run
  • October 25 - Parent Teacher Conferences - 11:40am Early Release
  • October 26 - PTA Board Meeting 6-7pm
  • November 1 - Parent Teacher Conferences - 11:40am Early Release

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.