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Principal's Message

September 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! A tremendous amount of hard work has gone into preparing for another productive year. Custodians have worked throughout the summer to clean and ready the schools. Teachers and support staff have spent hours preparing materials and reviewing data.  Secretaries and office staff have been extremely busy registering new students and organizing materials.

There are many noticeable changes to the physical plant. After years of advocating for a fence around the playground at JWL, we now have one. A new Pre-K/Kinder playscape has been installed, and we are the proud recipients of a new storage shed, picnic tables, and sandbox at GFS. JWL has a few new picnic tables and will be home to the gaga pit. The exterior JWL gym doors have been painted, and the landscaping has been spruced up a bit at both buildings. New wooden cubbies have been added outside of the Pre-K classrooms. Work has even been done in the bathrooms at JWL. Best of all, we have new phones in each classroom!  These are the highlights, but I am sure I am forgetting other improvements. I encourage you to take a moment to thank our dedicated custodial and maintenance crews.

The Board of Education has adopted a new vision statement, set of core beliefs, and theories of actions. At the school level, we will continue to focus on innovation and developing respectful, responsible, safe, and kind students. There is a great deal of information found on the school and district websites. Ledyard Public Schools even has an app!

August 30 marked the first day of school for 570 students at GF/JWL. Teachers have begun to introduce routines and started building a sense of community within their classrooms and in common areas.  We are excited to welcome 74 kindergarteners and 65 students to the Pre-K program, which has moved to Gales Ferry School from Gallup Hill School. Over 40  new students in grades 1-6 have registered and will join us for the first time.  We even have some new staff members! We are thrilled to have so many new members join the GF/JWL learning community!

The home/school connection is a vital part of a child’s education.  One habit for parents and caregivers to establish is checking your child’s backpack daily.  Forms and information are often sent home along with homework and completed work.  Please read, sign, and return necessary forms in a timely fashion.  We also use technology to share information.  We have a school website and use #gfsjwl on Twitter. The district recently launched an app called Ledyard Public Schools which you can download onto your favorite devices.  I would encourage you to stay connected and seek opportunities to be involved.

Speaking of being involved, we have the potential to have a very strong PTO again this year.  There are numerous opportunities for parents to be involved both during the school day and for a variety of events and projects. I encourage you to stop by the PTO booth at Open House to get more information.

I look forward to getting to know each student and working collaboratively with parents and staff members to ensure that each child has a successful year.  My door is always open. I have an office in each of the buildings. Please do not hesitate to email me at  or call the school office.


Anne Hogsten


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