August 2020

Dear Loomis Families,

Hello! I hope this letter finds you and your family happy and healthy. What an adventure it has been! When I began at Loomis Elementary last year, I knew we had some challenges ahead of us with construction, renovations, and a new math program. None of us knew we would also be dealing with a pandemic. Despite all the challenges, we found a way to make distance learning possible and push on.

As your child enters our school for the first time, we would like to share information to assist you in a smooth start to the school year. The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. For those families that are new to our school, you will soon find out that no matter what comes our way, Loomis teachers strive to provide our students with a well rounded education through experiences that work with the student’s individual needs and strengths. Our teachers are determined, compassionate, and focused on student growth in an effort to help each child reach their individual goals. I am a proud graduate and former valedictorian of Temple University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Education. In addition, I earned my Principal/Administrative Certification from Cabrini University.

As a current New Jersey resident, I was born in Delaware County but , spent most of my childhood in Southern California until we returned during my high school years. I am probably the only California girl that can say she “summered in Delco”. I am the wife of a talented school principal and a mother of a teenage boy named Alden. You can imagine how absolutely thrilled our son was to be in quarantine with two school principals. Alden is a freshman in high school for engineering and enjoys Fortnite (insert eye roll here), robotics, swimming, and flag football. We have a Maltipoo named Roxie who is as sweet and fluffy as can be.

As a former elementary teacher for 13 years and an administrator for the past seven, one of my greatest strengths is building relationships between home and school, students, faculty, and the community. I find it very important to build a sense of family and pride within the school so students are excited to learn and enjoy coming to school. I make great efforts to establish a positive school culture conducive to student learning and safety. My approach is fair and inclusive with high and attainable expectations. Each teacher, student, and parent interaction is handled thoroughly and compassionately as we come to a fair resolution that is also aligned with expectations of Marple Newtown School District’s Code of Conduct. Helping teachers, students, parents, and the community is my passion.

There is no doubt this is a very exciting time for our school community! Loomis Elementary has been totally renovated with several new classrooms added, an extension to our cafeteria, and a fully updated kitchen. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to tour our beautiful, new facility when the time is right. In the meantime, our teachers are settling into their new classrooms well. They are busy unpacking, decorating, attending trainings, and getting everything ready for the upcoming school year whether it takes place in-person or virtually.

We do have a few changes to our staff. As you may know, our librarian, Mrs. Melissa O’Donnell retired a t the end June. Mrs. Jen Stalker has also decided to retire after teaching at Loomis since 1986 (34 years). She may have even been your teacher! This was not an easy decision for either teacher. After all, Loomis is a giant part of their hearts and they are a giant part of ours. We wish both of these women the absolute best in their retirement. We also have some changes to the staff. We welcome our new librarian, Ms. Aysel Tuna , who has worked at Loomis as a building and long-term substitute teacher. Mrs. Christine McCullough will now teach first grade. Mrs. Rachel Henriques will teach fourth grade.

While the teachers and staff are getting ready, there are many things you can do to help get your child ready for school depending on their grade-level such as, practicing writing neatly, learning the alphabet, or perhaps learning their times tables. Reading to your child every day also has tremendous benefits! Perhaps older children can read to you, a pet, or their family member over the phone. This year, we are suggesting a few more ways to help your child prepare:

  • Explain what to expect for school this year so they are excited and less nervous.
  • Review and practice proper hand-washing techniques.
  • Praise your child for wearing their facemask correctly. Consider putting a facemask on a stuffed animal.
  • Explain the importance of facemasks and that it protects other people from getting sick.
  • Help your child choose comfortable facemasks that are appropriate for school.
  • Show your child how to remove the mask without touching the cloth.
  • You may also want to reinforce the concept of physical distancing while still being polite
  • Teach your child fun, safe, socially-distance games to play with others during recess such as Red Light, Green Light, Simon Sa ys, etc…

Continue to visit our website, our Loomis-mnsd Twitter page, our Loomis Elementary School Facebook page, as well as the Loomis PTO- Broomall Facebook page often to remain informed of events happening at Loomis Elementary School. We would also like to encourage you to update your most recent cell phone and email address with our Mrs. Forlano so you are able to receive my weekly communications regarding school events and information from our school.

We are all looking forward to a great year! I believe school is the hub of any great community where happy memories are made, lasting friendships are formed, and students thrive.

With Tiger Pride,

Ms. Jaime Smyth, Principal