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Welcome Back from Principal Yung

Dear Families,

Are you ready? Can you feel the excitement of school starting? Our teachers are gearing up for the first day of school and we look forward to an incredible year. The first day of school is on Tuesday, September 6th for students in grades 1-5 and Thursday, September 8th for Junior Kindergarten/Kindergarten students. We are excited about the year ahead of us and fortunate to have you as members of our community.

As we plan the year ahead of us, one important school goal is developing student social skills. We know that many students do quite well with routines and structures, but it is the learning how to handle all situations—structured or unstructured—that is a critical part of their growth. Our students need to know how to maneuver through social challenges such as frustration, isolation, perseverance, annoyance, boredom, and initiative as these are important skills. We must be conscientious in how much we “tighten” or “loosen” our day and what explicit lessons we seek to teach within these opportunities. These skills and experiences are important for healthy emotional wellbeing and future academic success. We look forward to partnering with you as your child develops the strategies and tools to handle any situation. 

An important highlight of our school is our longer school hours. The King School continues to be the recipient of the state’s Expanded Learning Time grant (ELT). This grant enables our students to receive an additional 300 hours of learning time, which means two additional hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. This grant is carefully monitored by the state and we have successfully met and exceeded certain performance agreements—including increased academic achievement on state tests—to ensure continued funding. Why do we do it? The heart of this grant lies in the opportunity to meet the needs of our students, and time is a necessary component. We have lengthier English and math classes to implement curriculums, Chinese language instruction for ALL students, a more developmentally-appropriate schedule (two recesses and a longer lunch), and additional resources to connect with local educational organizations. We offer many opportunities to learn and lead with our hearts to ensure that our students develop all the skills to be strong, successful, and compassionate scholars. This grant affords us the opportunity to be a progressive model in the state and nation for a public elementary school.

There are so many exciting events to look ahead this school year. 

  • This year will mark our first full school year in our new building. Our facilities are fantastic, and the designers have added more signs to help with traffic flow and avoid any confusion. There has been a steady stream of interest and tours of our school since we moved in, and we are fortunate to work in a state-of-the-art building.  

  • Our Chinese Immersion program (the only public, non-charter, program in New England) will fully extend into fifth grade this year. This has been a remarkable journey that ends at our highest grade. We are also introducing a new immersion curriculum—Better Immersion Chinese—which will provide us with even more symmetry and resources. I can’t say enough about the hard work and collaboration our teachers have invested, and your continual support. 

  • We will follow the Presidential elections this November and hold our own ‘mock’ election. We will focus on the democratic process and importance of voting.

I would like to welcome several new staff members:

  • Ms. Jennifer Varney, Librarian: Ms. Varney comes from the Boston Public School. She has nine years experience as a school librarian at a dual-language (Spanish/English) K-8 Boston public school. She also has experience in university and public libraries. Her teaching goals are twofold: “to share a joy of books and reading with students while also inspiring them to become inquisitive researchers.” She's looking forward to meeting King School students and families.

  • Ms. Maria Wang Qian, Grade 4 and Grade 5 Chinese Immersion: Ms. Wang will teach all grade 4 Chinese Immersion classes and some grade 5 math and Chinese Language Arts classes.

“Hi, this is Qian Wang, Wang Laoshi. I am pleased to be the new Chinese immersion teacher for 4th and 5th grade. I graduated from UMass Amherst with Master of Education and had 4 years experience in teaching Chinese immersion program. I love Chinese language and Chinese cultural and can’t wait to pass the joy of learning Chinese to your child.  In my spare time, I like walking around in the city and discover new events. I also like making handcrafts as teaching tools, such as New Year lantern. I am excited to be with you and your child.” 

  • Ms. Kelly Chandler, School Social Worker:

“My name is Kelly and I am excited to be joining the team at the King School this September as your new School Social Worker. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and I’ve been living and working in the Boston area for the last nine years. I recently moved to the North Shore with my partner and our two dogs. I will be splitting my time between your school and the King Open. I am passionate about education and my role will focus on supporting students and teachers alike. I will be meeting with some students one-on-one, conducting some small groups with kids, and will also focus on some Tier 1 projects throughout the year with the larger student body. The goal is to assist with students’ social and emotional well being as a means to also support their academic and behavioral success in your classrooms. I’ll also be engaging with families to support these efforts.”

  • Ms. Heidi Southcombe, Principal Intern (Fall 2016):

“My name is Heidi Southcombe and I am a current student in the School Leadership Program. I am originally from Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) with a B.A. in Political Science. Afterward, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia where I taught elementary school and earned an M.A. in Teaching from Georgia State University. Most recently, I taught 4th grade science at Springdale Park Elementary in Atlanta. When I am not teaching, I work with Teach for America to design online professional learning modules for first- and second-year teachers. I am very much looking forward to learning from you and with you at the King School this year. I hope to get to know both staff members and families in this community, and welcome you to contact me at hes185@mail.harvard.edu. Thank you for welcoming me to your school and community!”

We are fortunate to have you in our community. Every school year is an exciting time as we welcome new families and staff. As a school located right near Harvard University and MIT, we also give an enthusiastic welcome to those that come from afar. We are a unique school with a diverse mixture of locals, “Cantibridgians” (long-time Cambridge residents), and international families. Please take the time to get to know one another through events, field trips, and drop-off/pick-up. We have such a genuine caring community and we are all here to support each other. The person you may least expect to know is often the one who shows a touching abundance of kindness. We look for the good in each other as we are all colleagues, supporters, and participants in the King School—a school with a rich history of innovation, scholarship, compassion, achievement, and social justice. I hope that you enjoy the remaining days of summer and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Yours truly,

Gerald Yung, Principal

Logistics

Class Lists
You should have received a welcome letter from your child’s assigned teacher. If you did not, please call the main office at 617.349.6562. We will inform you of the assignment and check to make sure we have your correct mailing address.

Drop-off (7:30 - 7:55AM)
For the first week of school, families may come into the hallway outside the classroom to say their “goodbyes.” After Sept 13th , families will say “goodbye” at either the entrance on Magee Street or inside the cafeteria.

Pick-Up (3:55PM; 1:55PM on Wednesdays)
Student pick-up is outside the main entrance on Putnam Avenue. In case of inclement weather, families may use the inside lobby right outside the main office.

Open House
The first Open House is scheduled for Monday, September 19th  from 6-7PM.

Before School Tour
If you wish to walk through the school to acclimate yourself and your child, you can do so on Thursday, September 1st  from 5-6PM. Please note that you will not be able to talk to teachers or access classrooms during this time.

Additional Information

  • Every class has two recesses. (We try to go outside as often as possible, so please dress your student appropriately).
  • Chinese is scheduled for every student at the school, at least four times a week.
  • Lunch is 30 minutes from either 11 - 11:30AM or 11:30AM - 12Noon.
  • Art, PE, Library, and Music are once a week. 
  • Please be on time to school. We are held accountable to ensure proper attendance.
  • Please communicate any and all absences with your teacher and our school clerk (Ms. Mason). You can call ahead and leave messages on our voicemail for absences (617.349.6562).

More Information