School News, Sept. 28: Monomoy Schools Announce Adjusted Bus Routes

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

First graders at the Harwich Elementary School reinforced the SHARK expectations by completing a school rules book. Students chose two rules that they learned for each area in the school: playground, cafeteria, hallway, bus and in the classroom.

Monomoy Schools Announce Adjusted Bus Routes

Updated bus routes and times have been released by the Monomoy Regional School District. The new schedule was scheduled to go into effect on Wednesday.

According to Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter, in the first few weeks of school middle and high school buses were arriving just before the start of class or a few minutes late. Bus company Cape Destinations was asked to adjust the routes so that buses arrive in enough time for students to stop by the cafeteria or get to class. There were also concerns expressed by parents about the timing of some routes. The result is that most buses will be picking up students about five minutes earlier.

The revised bus routes can be found at

Chatham Elementary School

Three classrooms will be piloting the "Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction" this year. This program pilot was chosen by a team of teachers during curriculum work completed this summer. This program focused on areas of need defined by this team and is research and evidence-based. The team also felt strongly that one of the specific benefits of this program is in its integrated, individualized approach to vocabulary development. According to Bear, one of the researchers of this program, "when teachers conduct word study with students, they address the learning needs in all areas of literacy, because development in one area relates to development in other areas. This harmony in development is described as the synchrony of reading, writing, and spelling development."

More information will be provided by the classroom teachers participating in this pilot at curriculum night. However, in the meantime, parents should note that this program will look a little different to those families used to having a word list provided on Monday and a spelling test on Friday. Since this program is individualized, students work at one of five stages of development (from alphabet to pattern to meaning) based on their individual learning needs. Thus students will move through these stages when they demonstrate mastery, not necessarily on a Monday-Friday routine. Teachers will be provided on-going, professional development this year during the pilot, and data on student achievement will collected throughout the pilot to determine if the district as a whole will adopt this approach next year. For more information, contact your child's teacher, MRSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Carla Blanchard, or CES' principal, Dr. Robin Millen.

Firefighter Justin visited second grade this week. He urged children and families to develop a fire safety and exit plan in the event of a fire. He will be returning with more lessons on fire safety from calling 911 responsibly and safely, to seeing Firefighter Justin in his fire uniform, to hearing his alarms in an effort to take the fear out of children and families who might experience a visit from the fire department.

Monomoy High School

Last Friday, the second annual Summer Reading Book Discussion Group was held. This year’s event included 46 book groups, eight of which were facilitated by community members from Chatham and Harwich. Thanks to Suzanne Martell, Carey Sims, Jennifer Pickett, Ann Carpenter, and Emily Milan from Brooks Free Library; Tammy DePasquale from Eldredge Public Library; and Theresa Malone and Michele Green from Monomoy Community Services. Superintendent Scott Carpenter and Dr. Carla Blanchard, Monomoy Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, also supported this initiative by leading discussion groups as well. Students had more voice in the selection of this year’s titles. Thanks to Ms. Wheaton and Ms. Barnes for making this happen.