From the Head of Upper School

September 2021

Families of Vassal Lane Upper School,

I hope this letter finds you all well and enjoying the summer. Below are some important announcements regarding the start of year. 

There have been some staffing changes at VLUS and I want to introduce you to the newest members of our instructional team:

Staffing Updates

  • Grade 6 Science: Paola Cisneros: Paola comes to us from Excel Academy in Chelsea, where she taught Science to grades 7 and 8. 

  • Grade 7 Science: Jill Brazao: Jill has taught middle school science for 15 years, most recently at the Lowell Community Charter Public School.

  • Special Education: Kimberly Humphreys: Kim has just moved here from Denver, CO, where she was a special education teacher in the Cherry Creek School District.

  • Math Interventionist: Wislande Pierre: Wislande has been an SEI para at VLUS the past two years and was at G&P before then. We are excited to have her move into the newly full-time Math Interventionist position.

  • Art--Louis Martinez: Louis is excited to join the VLUS team, having spent the last three years teaching Art at the Guilmette Middle School in Lawrence.

  • Chorus & General Music: Sean Lebrun: Sean has taught chorus, general music, and rock band for the past six years as part of the Methuen public schools.

  • Orchestra (.5): Christopher Hernandez: Chris takes on the newly created Orchestra courses for grades 6-8 and is excited to do so. He was at CSUS and PAUS last spring as an ETS and before that was in Hartford, CT, where he was the director of the Hartford All-City Youth Orchestra and the Charter Oak Cultural Center Junior Orchestra. 

  • Theater (.2): Kristala Smart: Kristala has years of drama teaching experience, most recently for six years in Washington, DC.

  • Art (.5): Hilda Gutierrez: Hilda will be teaching the additional sections of Art to grades 6 and 7 in the afternoons and comes to VLUS after teaching Art to middle schoolers at the Mario Umana Academy, which is part of Boston Public Schools.

  • PE/Health: Theresa O’Connor: Theresa joins the VLUS team as our additional PE and Health teacher, taking on the additional sections of both in grades 6 and 7. She has been part of CPS for a while, most recently as part of the Morse School.

We will be holding our annual VLUS end-of-summer potluck on Thursday, August 29 between 4PM and 6PM. We will be gathering in the playground at the back of the school for food, drinks and fun. Teachers and teams will be present to meet incoming students and parents and to answer any pressing questions related to the start of the year. We hope to see you there.

Last Name What to Bring
A-K Main Dishes
L-R Desserts
S-Z Drinks

We are working on finalizing our 2019-20 VLUS events calendar and hope to have that ready for the start of the school year. In the meantime, here are some important dates in September:

  • Monday, September 2 | Labor Day--No School
  • Tuesday, September 3 | First Day of School
  • Wednesday, September 18 | Early Release Day (12:55PM dismissal)
  • Thursday, September 26 | Back to School Night

Here is the 2019-20 CPS calendar, which indicates all holidays and early release days. 

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 3. All students should report to school no later than 8:45AM so that they can make their way to their Advisory room by 8:55AM. We will all be around that morning to make sure that everyone finds their way. 

Grade-level supply lists are now in the VLUS Information on the front page of our website. 

I look forward to working with you and your students for what will be a great school year!

Daniel Coplon-Newfield, EdM, MSW
Head of School

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