Sunday, February 10, 2019

Feb. 10 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Year of the Pig to those who celebrate the Lunar New Year!  I hope all of you who celebrate this event had the opportunity to be together with your friends and loved ones and I wish you a prosperous year.  I would like to thank the Winchester School of Chinese Culture (WSCC) and the Chinese American Network of Winchester for inviting me to this morning's New Year celebration at Winchester High.  While growing up in Taiwan, I remember the Lunar New Year being a time of great fun and excitement.  It was wonderful to be with folks who also celebrate this event and be connected to my roots and my culture.

This past Wednesday morning, Ms. Judy Crocker, Coordinator of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program of the Department of Transportation, came to speak to parents during the monthly parent coffee.  I am including the PowerPoint slides she used during the presentation here.  Ms. Crocker proposed a series of action steps at the end of her presentation, and I would like to discuss some of them now.  The first is conducting Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety training.  Currently, Ms. Crocker is working with our Student Council students to create and deliver a Pedestrian Safety presentation to their elementary classmates at Lincoln Elementary School.  This opportunity allows our students to practice their leadership skills and to reinforce safe pedestrian practices for themselves as well.  Ms. Crocker will be working with our PE department during the spring to reinforce safe bicycle practices (e.g., how to wear helmets appropriately) to all of our middle school students .

Secondly, Ms. Crocker recommends that we reduce the amount of traffic during arrival and dismissal times by encouraging more students to walk or bike to school.  I will be working with the MPA to purchase more bike racks in preparation for the spring when we anticipate more students will be biking.  Ms. Crocker and I will be working to figure out how to increase more parents to choose the “park and walk” method.  That is, asking more parents to park their cars and drop off their students at remote locations and then asking the students to walk to school.  This approach is complex since it will impact the traffic in the school’s neighboring areas, so we will be involving our School Resource Officer in this discussion as well.

Lastly, I would like to continue to ask all parents to please obey the traffic and parking signage posted around the Lincoln and McCall areas and exercise safe driving practices so all pedestrians and drivers coming to or leaving McCall can do so safely.

Ms. Crocker will provide me with a written report of the observations she made of our arrival and dismissal processes as well as her recommendations.  I will share that information as soon as it is available.

I would like to conclude this message by reminding all 8th grade families that the 8th grade moving-on ceremony is scheduled in the evening of the last day of school.  Currently, that day is June 17, 2019.  If we have snow days or other school closing events that will cause the last day of school to be pushed later into that week, the moving-on ceremony will be held in the evening of the new last day of school.  I understand many students will be leaving for summer camp or other summer activities on June 22.  Therefore, if the last day of school is pushed out to June 24 or beyond, we will still keep the moving-on ceremony on June 21 in order to ensure as many 8th graders are able to attend the event as possible.  The moving-on ceremony date  and time are posted in our school website calendar.

Thank you and enjoy the upcoming week, 

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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