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June 2: PRE Principal's Message


“Connection is the energy between people when they feel seen, valued and heard”
“Empathy Fuels Connection”
~Brene Brown

Dear Preston Families,
As you know, at Preston, students are explicitly taught the concept of empathy. In order to better understand each other, we need to put ourselves in each other’s “shoes.” When we are empathetic, we feel more connected. If children feel seen, valued, and heard, they will develop a sense of belonging that is critical to their social-emotional well being. This is why our three school rules are: Care For Yourself, Care For Others, and Care for this Place. We want students to know that We Belong Together.  
As the school year comes to an end, we hope students have felt connected while Learning From Home.  Each week we had a social-emotional focus.  We shared weekly videos of students displaying their work.  Teachers held small group and whole class virtual meetings, created pre-recorded videos, and provided ongoing feedback on Seesaw and Google classroom.  These are just some examples of how we tried to make sure your children feel valued.
Next week, students will return materials and pick up their belongings.  Each grade level will have a designated day and time.  Classroom teachers will be present to say a final in-person goodbye.  We hope this experience will provide a memorable connection for your children and reinforce that they matter.
Last week, the videos of students’ artwork were shared: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade.
This week, we will practice the habit of continuous learning.  Students will highlight a physical activity from P.E. that they have enhanced since Learning from Home.  They will take pictures or a 10-15 second video showcasing their moves or explaining how to perform a movement.  Please see Preston’s Monday Message.
With the Superintendent’s announcement that the last day of school will be June 16th, the end of our school year comes closer into view.  Teachers across all grades and content areas are celebrating students’ hard work and growth throughout the school year.  As mentioned in the Superintendent’s most recent update, our schools are finalizing plans to honor and celebrate fifth graders as they prepare to “move up” to middle school.  While our end-of-year celebrations and culminating activities will look and feel different this year, they will be an important part of our collective memory as we look back on this historic school year.
The District will offer summer programs; however, all programs will be held virtually.  As the Superintendent explained in his update:  “Summer programs are being developed and will look like nothing you have ever seen or experienced before. They are not mandatory, will be flexibly scheduled, and accommodate more students than ever.”
Third-Trimester Report Card

While at school and during Learning from Home, students engaged in content-based learning, demonstrated problem-solving, perseverance, and skill development. Throughout the year, families, teachers, and principals had many conversations about your child’s learning. Our goal is to provide information that reveals the progress your child continues to make.  To recognize that progress elementary students will receive a narrative-based report card for the third trimester.  We will use what we know, as well as what has been gathered in the third trimester to report your child’s progress.  More information can be found in this Elementary Report Card FAQ.

Procedures for Returning materials and picking up belongings
Beginning June 10th, families will be invited to pick up their child’s belongings, as well as return items such as library books, textbooks, school-owned instruments, and other school materials. We will not be collecting technology on loan from the school district except for students leaving the District. Each school has a process for collecting student’s belongings and returning any items to the school.  As always, health and safety is our priority.  Protocols establishing social distancing, as well as the use of masks will be in place during times to pick-up and drop-off materials.  Congregating among students, families, and teachers will be prohibited. Each school will send families more information about specific schedules and procedures in the coming days.

Kindergarten Orientation
Our elementary schools have begun welcoming incoming kindergarten families by gathering important social, emotional, and academic information about our newest students from the people who know them best, their families!  This information is especially important this year as a traditional kindergarten screening will not take place.  Kindergarten registration and new student registration for the 2020/21 school year are ongoing. If you or someone you know has an incoming kindergartener who has not yet registered, please visit; click the “Parents” menu; and then “Student Registration,” to access our Online Registration system.  Email Michelle Marchese, District Registrar, with any questions:

I wish you compassion, joy, and stronger connections. 


Dennis Kortright

Ongoing items to note:
  • Visit the District’s K-5 Family University on the Learning From Home page, which offers additional learning activities for your children and continues to be updated.
  • The District provides free breakfast and lunch for eligible students. If you are currently eligible but have not yet applied, please complete the request form.  If your circumstances have changed and you are in need of food assistance contact your principal. All inquiries are confidential.
  • If your child needs a device, if there is a problem with your equipment, or if your family does not have internet access, the District will provide a device and/or a mobile hotspot to deliver internet access. If you require technology support please complete this form. If you have questions contact Brian Seligman (914-630-3389) or (