Principal's Letter

Dear Cunniff Families,

I begin my newsletter by sharing a story about a Cunniff parent that I have joined in supporting so that she is able to meet her goal of receiving a Service Dog to help her regain her independence.  Since the fall of 2015 Naomi Ridge has been losing mobility due to Multiple Sclerosis.  She now uses a wheelchair to get around outside. She has had to give up her career and she struggles to get out of the house without assistance. Naomi often has to ask her two sons, Alistair (13) and Cameron (10), for help in the kitchen and around their home.

Many of you may know Naomi Ridge and will agree that she is an amazing mother to her two sons and she has always been a wonderful role model for them.  Naomi has been a member of the Cunniff School Site Council and has volunteered her time in support of initiatives that benefit teaching and  learning in our school.  I have known Naomi for all of the years I have been Principal at Cunniff and she has always been supportive.  

Naomi has applied to NEADS for a Service Dog.  The dog will become her 24-hour companion and accompany her as she goes about her daily activities. Naomi would also love to start volunteering at the Cunniff Elementary School, or at the Watertown Public Library. Having a Service Dog will give her the confidence to go out and achieve goals which have been put on hold due to her disease and disability.

The true cost of all the specialized training is over $45,000. As a client, Naomi has pledged to raise $8000 for NEADS, which will allow them to continue to train and place these highly skilled dogs. If you would like to consider making a tax-deductible donation to NEADS to help Naomi reach her fundraising goal, please visit:  . 

Bandarama took place last Tuesday evening.  Congratulations to Ms. Ward and the team of music teachers and students in grades 3,4 and 5 that participated.  I look forward to this event each year and I am always amazed by the talent.

Spring is around the corner.  A reminder that there will be days when it will still feel like winter.  Students should come to school dressed so that they are able to sustain a much needed outdoor recess each day.  

MCAS practice sessions for students in grades 3-5 will begin this week.  These sessions are by invitation from grade level teams.  If you received a permission slip for your child, please sign and return it so that s/he can participate.  A reminder that MCAS testing will take place according to the following schedule:   The ELA test will be administered on Tuesday, April 30th and Thursday May 2nd. The Mathematics test will be administered on Tuesday, May 7th and Thursday, May 9th. Students in grade five will also take the Science, Technology and Engineering component on Tuesday, May 21st and Thursday, May 23rd. 

Here are some additional important dates to mark on your calendar.  The Town-wide Spelling Bee is Sunday, March 31st.  There is an ELPAC (English Learner Parent Advisory Council) meeting at the Watertown Free Public Library on Wednesday, April 24 from 9:00 - 10:0AM and 7:00 - 8:00PM.  International Night will take place on Thursday, April 25th.  Please reference the notice sent home by Anna Nolan last week, if you would like to help out. A combined Fine Arts, Fitness and Literacy Night is scheduled for Monday, May 13th. The Scholastic Spring Book Fair will take place on May 13th - May 15th.   Field Day will take place on Friday, June 7th.  All of these events and more are regularly posted on our school calendar.  

There will be no school for current PreKindergarten and Kindergarten students on Monday, June 3rd and Tuesday, June 4th due to the screening process for incoming students.

Enjoy your day!


Warm regards,

Mena Ciarlone, Cunniff Principal