Welcome to Lloyd H. Bugbee School
Bugbee School is a vibrant, high-performing Kindergarten through Grade Five Elementary school located in a quiet residential neighborhood north of West Hartford Center. Opened in 1950 and added on to over the years, we currently serves approximately 460 students. The hallmark of the “Bugbee Experience” is that all members of our community – our incredibly committed teachers, staff, families, and students, see each other as a true “Family” – heavily invested in the success of every single one of our children. We enjoy all the benefits of being part of the West Hartford Public School system: a highly trained, enthusiastic staff; an outstanding dedication to the use of the best curriculum and teaching strategies; an on-going commitment to the arts and across the grade levels; and cutting edge assessments and interventions that promote the most successful learning for students across our population.
Bugbee received the honor of being named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2013, and has been named a School of Distinction by the Connecticut Department of Education for the past two years. But high scores are only one measure of success, and the feeling of inclusiveness, connectedness, and kind and caring actions that all members of our "family" demonstrate are even better indicators that Bugbee strives - successfully - to prepare our children for the world around them now, and the world to come in the future.
Dear Bugbee Families,
I hope you have been enjoying both the beautiful fall weather and the calm that a familiar routine hopefully now brings as your children feel settled in their not-so-new classroom. Weather hasn’t always been on our side and we are finalizing plans to re-create a Reading Under the Stars experience for our community due to the rain-out (twice!) Still, learning is in full gear as grade levels wrap up many introductory units in Math and ELA designed to firm up skills introduced in the previous year, and prepare to dive deeper into more rigorous grade level challenges. Exciting new science units are also being introduced in grades 1-4 (see Curriculum Corner for more specifics) and our arts/PE programs continue to help students connect and bloom in unique ways. Our instructional focus continues to be on engaging children in the process of learning: setting goals, tracking progress, and investigating interests. I hope over the course of the year you will witness a sense of ownership and pride in your child as we refine ways to make students “leaders of their own learning”.
Coupled with academics, we always strive to ensure students are developing the “soft skills” to be successful in the classroom. Self-regulation, managing routines, and navigating new experiences with peers all require skills that can be taught, and we value the time spent on teaching these concepts in concert with our enriching academics. As we build on our foundational work around the approach “Love & Logic” established last year, we continue to look for ways to support students in solving their own problems. Our goals with this approach are to approach student challenges with empathy first, recognizing the challenge from their perspective, while then supporting them through responsibly solving their problem. One example of how this is being introduced in classrooms is by having group brainstorms of common problems in the classroom (see photos, courtesy of Ms. DiPietro grade 4). The intention of this approach is to help children feel in control and capable of taking on this responsibility and independence. Are there issues that keep arising at home that may require some proactive brainstorming like this? Try out the strategy as a family and see if it helps you “get ahead” of the challenge next time!
A third focus this year is on you, our families! As a district, we are seeking to ensure that “Welcoming Schools” is a phrase our community would use to describe us. Bugbee teachers and parent representatives are working at the district level to foster new ideas around connecting with you, and also assessing various aspects of our school through varied family lenses. While we engage in this work as a district, I hope that here at the ground level you will share with us your experiences and anything else we can offer to provide clearer communication, opportunities to share in your child’s education in a way you are comfortable, and making sure we hear if something we are doing or saying is in fact not welcoming! This term can mean different things to different families, and it is intended to be broad so that we can reach all. Know that it is a sincere effort of mine and our staff’s to seek out every family’s trust and collaboration for the betterment of our students, and we hope you will find a way that is comfortable for you to share with us your experiences and needs here at Bugbee.
Finally, I’d like to close with some joyful Bugbee news! This Spring, the Bugbee staff will be welcoming three new little bundles of joy to our extended family. Please join me in celebrating Mrs. Phelan, grade 4, who is expecting her first child in March of 2019! In April, Mrs. Finnegan, grade 5, will welcome her first child as well! The final surprise was received this summer by Mr. Brouse and I when we found out we would be welcoming a third little Brouse this coming April, too! We look forward to the ultimate blessing of new babies here at Bugbee, and I hope you will join us in celebrating this special news. As plans are finalized for maternity leaves, information will be shared with classroom families for Mrs. Phelan and Mrs. Finnegan, and the whole community once we have established an interim Principal for my hiatus this coming Spring. Should any questions already be surfacing in your mind, know that my door is open and I am always here to talk, so don’t hesitate to reach out. On behalf of Mrs. Phelan, Mrs. Finnegan and myself, thank you for your support and kindness during this special time.
We look forward to a productive autumn and will see you in one short month for parent conferences, if not sooner! Don’t forget a few special events on the horizon:
Family Breakfast, October 19th (reserved seating via Konstella- free tickets still available!)
International Night Potluck, October 24th 6:30 p.m.
Next PTO meeting, October 29th, 7 p.m. (all are invited, childcare provided)
Halloween Center Days, October 31st (refer to your classroom teacher’s communication for details)
Happy Fall, y’all!
Kelly Brouse, Principal