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Welcome to James P.B. Duffy, School # 12 

Dear Families and Friends of School 12,

We are off to a great a great start this school year.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to meet our families and your children.  Thank you for coming out for the ribbon cutting ceremony and our Open House.  Your partnership as your child’s first teacher is valuable to us and we love our families.  Our School 12 children have been learning about Respect as our focus value for September.  We had a very exciting assembly with a dancing Duffy Duck, in which the children learned ways they can exhibit self-respect and respect others.   Our 7th graders will be working with the Respect Institute’s Respect 360 curriculum this year.  They created films, raps, and presentations during their 2 day bridging experience as they entered 7th grade that showcased the basics.    We will continue to highlight a respect basic each month and provide lessons and experiences that allow students to develop the self-regulation skills that are essential to lifelong well-being and help them thrive.  More information about this program can be found at

We will be utilizing the zones of regulation practices in our kindergarten and first grade classrooms this year to help students develop self-regulation skills.  Zones is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones.  The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of, and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.

Grades 2 through 7 will be utilizing lessons from Second Step.  Second Step is an evidence-based program that guides students in developing their social-emotional skills—including making friends, managing emotions, and solving problems—to set them on the path for social success and academic readiness.  Middle school students exposed to Second Step lessons are better prepared to navigate adolescence with communication, coping, and decision-making skills that help them make good choices and avoid pitfalls, such as peer pressure, substance abuse, and bullying.

Our partnership with the Greater Rochester Health Foundation is going strong.  Each day in the cafeteria I enjoy observing the children as they dine with their friends and enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables made possible on our fresh salad bar.  Children are indeed consuming these veggies each day.  It is a complement to our cafeteria staff, who are ensuring that all children have a healthy breakfast and lunch that is appealing and which they can enjoy each day.  Our School 12 students are appreciating the opportunity to exercise and play team games outdoors each day.  Student well-being is our priority at school and we appreciate families partnerships in this effort.  Please help us by being mindful to not include candy, chips, soda, soft drinks, or high sugar foods in your child’s lunch box.  When celebrating milestones, such as your child’s birthday with the classroom, consider providing healthy low-fat items that the children can enjoy.  Our teachers are working diligently on building academic learning plans that can help support students’ learning needs. 

Dismissal reminders:
This year we are trying some new dismissal procedures to increase safety and security for all of our children.  We appreciate your patience as we ensure the safety of all of our children.  If picking up your child by car, please remain in your vehicle and line up on the south side of the building by the rec center.  You may request a pick up pass that will help us to expedite the dismissal of your child in the car pick up line.  Our new system has increased the speed and safety with which we are able to connect our children to their guardians.

Walkers: Walkers will be the final group to dismiss.  Due to the many large busses entering our bus loop, we hold our walkers in a secure location until all busses have left the premises.  Walkers should be leaving the premises between 2:05 and 2:10.  Crossing guards in the neighborhood remain on post until 2:30, which should leave plenty of time for the children to make their way safely home on foot. . Parent walkers are asked to check in at the dismissal back door with the supervising adult and sign them out so that we can ensure the safety of all children.

Last-minute changes in dismissal: Please be sure to communicate all dismissal changes in advance with a note directly to your child’s teacher in the morning.  Changes after 1:30 p.m. can result in confusion or a message not making it to the teacher.  In the event this occurs, the child’s regular dismissal plan will be followed.  In emergencies, please report to the main office to request a change in dismissal if you have not made contact with your child’s teacher during the day.

EARLY RELEASE DAYS:There will be  6 early release days this school year district-wide.  These days are used by our school faculty to work on planning, professional development, and implementation of our school improvement plan.The first date for early release will be: 10/17/16.  School Dismissal Time on early release days will be 10:45 a.m.  Please look for further information in your child’s backpack for directions for early release day dismissal.

 Dr. G 

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School # 12 K-8 Grow Out Planning