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Birch School

Principal's Page


The Birch School community is a warm, welcoming home filled with enthusiasm, rigor, and learning for all. With initiatives to promote challenge and positive character, we will expect our students to push themselves to their limits and beyond. Despite the rigorous academic demands, Birch spirit and excitement will remain of utmost importance throughout our school environment. Through home-school collaboration, our students will certainly soar!

The children who attend Birch School are bright and compassionate, each one holding the potential to achieve greatness. The possibilities are endless when you combine our students’ potential with the involved parent community that surrounds Birch School. Together, with the talented Birch staff of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals, we aim to prepare our children for their future successes.

We continuously discuss the importance of creating a positive experience for ALL Birch students. The Birch community is committed to focusing on our diversity and developing a sense of inclusion and belonging throughout the building. The Dignity for All Students Act supports our focus to develop school-wide positive support approaches, including our main emphasis, our Bucket Filling program. You fill a bucket by showing respect and care for someone, saying or doing something kind, or giving someone a smile. As the book by Carol McCloud describes, bucket fillers do “nice things that make others feel special.” On the contrary, bullies are bucket dippers. They say or do “mean things that make others feel bad.” We have also encouraged our students to become upstanders. Upstanders “stand up” for what is right, and are integral in the process toward creating a climate where all students are treated respectfully. It is our joint responsibility to teach our children that, “When you fill someone’s bucket, you fill your own bucket too!” This is not simply a concept for children, but for all of us. In collaboration with our PTA, we will continue to plan for educational and cultural arts programs which support this philosophy and the Dignity for All Students Act by focusing on diversity, anti-bullying, conflict resolution, and promoting positive relationships amongst our students. We thank our parents and teachers for working as a team to prepare Birch students to be bucket fillers, and in turn, citizens of the world.

Our school continues to focus on “Building a Foundation for Our Futures” through improving academic skills for all of our students. In doing so, we look forward to enhancing our current curricular programs by challenging students to delve deeper into topics and text across curricular areas. Our students in all grades will grow and develop through our Balanced Literacy approach and the Go Math program.

We will continue to enrich our students through programs including, but not limited to, Foreign Language for Elementary School (FLES), APEX and Science Enrichment. Our RTI (Response to Intervention) model will continue to serve our students by creating and implementing individualized interventions based on student data and monitoring student progress. Our fifth and sixth graders will again participate in a partial departmentalization model in preparation for middle school. Social and Emotional Learning programs, including Lions Quest, Peacemakers and SADD will continue, in addition to the many assemblies and workshops brought in through our PTA and district. We will continue to emphasize the importance of timely and safe arrival and dismissal  procedures. In order to do this, we will need to continue to work together as a home/school team. Classes will begin promptly at 8:40 AM so that we canmaximize instructional time for our students. This means that if your student does not take the bus, she/he should plan on being at school between 8:30 AM and 8:35 AM to ensure she/he arrives to class on time to begin work at 8:40 AM. Supervision for students not taking a bus will begin at 8:30 AM, and buses will arrive at school in time for students to arrive to class on time. Dismissal for kindergartners is 2:50 PM and for all other grade levels, 2:55 PM. If you must make changes in your child’s dismissal procedures, please try to plan in advance, and notify the school as early as possible.

With so many exciting ventures ahead, we need parent and community support more than ever. There is truly no better way to support Birch School than by becoming involved and active in the Birch PTA. The PTA provides wonderful opportunities for our children and tremendous support to our school. The PTA assists with community building through activities such as the Welcome Back Picnic, Fall Festival, Founders’ Day, PARP and the End of Year Dinner. The PTA also provides classroom and academic support through the organization of class parents, as well as PTA funded and planned field trips and cultural arts programs. Much gratitude also goes to the PTA for providing Birch students with the opportunity to purchase hot lunch.

Our assistant principal, Chris Hoisik, and I are excited to continue the wonderful traditions of excellence that have been firmly established at Birch School. The school year is full of great opportunities for learning and growing throughout the Birch community. We look forward to sharing in these educational experiences with you and your children.

Kerri Galante
Birch School