Dartmouth elementary schools preview updates ahead of new year

Aug 23, 2022

Dartmouth’s elementary schools are set to start the new school year on Aug. 31 and with only a week left before students return, staff and administrators are hard at work to put the finishing touches on updates to their schools.

Here’s what’s new at town primary schools:

At Quinn School, Principal Kyle Grandfield said the administration is planning to unveil a new school mascot at its welcome back assembly.

Formerly the Quinn Rockets, Grandfield said the students and staff voted on their favorite new mascot from a list of three finalists last year, but the winner will be kept a secret until the first week of school.

In addition to revealing the winning mascot, Grandfield said the school would introduce an updated Positive Behavior Incentive System (PBIP) at the assembly.

The incentive system, he said, is designed to break down expectations and character traits that the school will seek to promote within the student body and the model of “what we look for in a Quinn School student.”

He said the system has not been updated in about 10 years.

The new system was developed through consultation with students, staff and parents over the course of the last year, Grandfield said.

Quinn School will also see six new teachers join the ranks of its educators this year.

“There’s a lot going on,” Grandfield said.

Potter Elementary will also have new teachers starting this year, including a new special education teacher and a music teacher who will split time between the Potter and Cushman Schools.

But the biggest change, Potter Principal Rick Porter said, will be the return to normalcy after the pandemic.

Porter explained that, for the past two years, students had to be kept in set groups for contact tracing purposes, severely limiting the pool of fellow students that they could play with at recess or eat with at lunch.

Now, with those freedoms restored, Porter said the school will focus on addressing the social and emotional skills that the students have been unable to develop since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“It’s a positive change, it really is,” he said.

DeMello Principal Elizabeth Correia echoed Porter’s feelings about a return to normalcy.

“Our goal is to get back to normal this year!” she said, adding that the school had “no new initiatives to speak of right now.”

“[We’re] just very excited to start the new year with no Covid restrictions,” she said.

At Cushman School, Principal Justine Dale said she has been busy with lots of new kindergarten registrations.

“[I] am so excited to meet these new students,” she said.

Dale said the school would be hosting a kindergarten open house on Monday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. to welcome new students and their families and to give them a chance to meet their teachers and classmates.

A preschool open house will be held at 5 p.m. the same day, she said.

Dale added that she was “looking forward to another year of free lunch and breakfast for our students,” with breakfast offered at 8:45 a.m. every school day.